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Kaliningrad celebrates anniversary of Soviet takeover


Citizens of Russia's Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad on Tuesday celebrated the 68th anniversary of the Soviet takeover of the city at the end of World War II.

Local and federal dignitaries joined around 200 surviving veterans and more than 1,000 others at the city's War Memorial Complex for an official ceremony.

"I want my son, who was born in Kaliningrad, to know who gave him his home," Kaliningrad Governor Nikolai Tsukanov told the audience, while thanking the veterans for their sacrifice.

The city, known in German as Konigsberg, was the last major obstacle on the Red Army's march to Berlin, and was taken over by the Soviet army on April 9, 1945.

The city was left in Soviet control under the terms of the Potsdam Agreement, and was renamed Kaliningrad in 1946.

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Kaliningrad became a Russian enclave and is now an important Russian port city and naval base.