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The historian spoke about the importance of the Rzhev battle

Rzhevskiy memorial to the Soviet soldier pays tribute to those who gave their lives to stop the enemy and the result of a huge scale battle made a radical change in the course of the great Patriotic war, told RIA Novosti the head of the scientific Department of the Russian military historical society (rvio), Yury Nikiforov.

Tuesday will host the opening ceremony of Rzhev of the memorial to Soviet soldiers, which will be a branch of the Museum of Victory. Participation in the event will be the presidents of Russia and Belarus Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko. The memorial was completed in April of this year, but its Grand opening was planned for the 75th anniversary of Victory on may 9 was postponed because of the situation with coronavirus infection.

The memorial will be the first large-scale monument to Soviet soldiers in Russia. This is a bronze sculpture with a height of 25 meters and weighing about 80 tons visually hovers above the ground. The monument was created RVIO with the support of the Union state of Russia and Belarus, of the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation and the government of the Tver region without the use of Federal budget funds two thirds of funds are the donations of citizens and organizations.

"Rzhevskaya battle unfairly only associated as one of the bloodiest battles of the great Patriotic war. Almost not taken into account that it is Grand in scale and number of participating troops, the battle played a key role in the war, helped to produce a radical change in the Soviet-German front. The memorial complex to Soviet soldiers near Rzhev will show that the soldiers in the Rzhev battle did not die in vain, they have made a key contribution to the victory in the great Patriotic war", - said Nikiforov.

The historian believes that Rzhev battle needs to be put on a par with Stalingrad and Kursk battles.

He noted that Rzhevskaya battle lasted from 8 January 1942 to 31 March 1943 and consisted of several operations, the Western and Kalinin fronts were fierce battles against the army group "Center". According to him, the official term Rzhevskaya battle does not exist, it was a different operation, in addition, some historians do believe the battles for Rzhev the continuation of the battle for Moscow.

Head of science Department, RVIA explained that because of this, to throw the German army had not been more than a year, but at the same time the actions of the Wehrmacht were stiff, and the Germans were not able to shift reserves to Stalingrad, as it prevented the complete blockade of Leningrad. At the same time weaken Soviet troops here, too, was impossible, as was the threat that the Germans can take the offensive on Moscow, which was only 250 kilometers.

"It was a war of attrition, so the Germans often compare Rzhev battle with the battle of Verdun, which became a symbol of carnage, where was exhausted the strength of the German army," the historian said.

In his opinion, hard positional battles led to catastrophic losses on both sides. "Figures of the total losses of the operations of the red army in the Rzhev battle is not completely established, but it is not due to the fact that they are impossible to count. The main difficulty is that not clearly defined boundaries and time limits which must be attributed to the Rzhevsky battle. Often summarize the total loss of all four operations as well as of the losses of the battle for Moscow - obtained figures, which surpass the loss in the most resistant and the major battles of the great Patriotic war. Closest to reality, the numbers of losses, wounded, missing and dead are more than a million people. Deadweight loss - about 400 thousand", - said Nikiforov.