Donetsk, Jun 22 - DAN. A rally commemorating the 76th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War took place at the monument to the victims of fascism in Donetsk’s Leninskiy district on Thursday.

DPR residents laid flowers at the monument to honour the memory of those who died in the struggle against Nazi occupants.

Local administration head Oleg Belyayev, Donetskaya Respublika parliament faction deputies Marina Zheinova, Lyubomir Pushkin and Sergey Chuchin, activists and World War II veterans attended the event.

“Seventy-six years ago on this day, hordes of Nazis, without declaring war, attacked our land sowing death and destruction,” Belyayev said in his speech. “We’ve gathered here today, at the monument to the victims of fascism to venerate the memory of innocent victims and defenders of our Motherland.”

The action held in the park of the Slavic Culture Centre brought together 300 people overall. The participants observed a minute of silence to commemorate the fallen Soviet fighters and Nazi occupation victims. Then they laid flowers at the monument and a gun salute was given.

Remembrance and Sorrow Day is an annual event marked across the Republic. On June 22, 1941, German troops attacked the Soviet Union.  Germany hoped for Blitzkrieg, a sudden and overwhelming military attack. Hundreds of settlements along the entire USSR’s western border came under fire in the first hours of the war. In the morning of 21 October 1941, German troops entered Donetsk (formerly Stalino) and stayed there until the liberation of this regional centre on 8 September 1943.*jk