Saur Mogila (Shakhtyorsk district), May 8 - DAN. The celebrations marking the 73rd anniversary of the Great Victory ended at the Donetsk People’s Republic Saur Mogila Memorial Complex with a flower-laying ceremony and a concert.

The ceremony took place immediately after the rally; World War II music was playing as a 20,000-strong column walked up to the top of the hill holding colours, DPR flags and a 50-metre St George’s ribbon in their hands.

Addressing the participants, DPR Defence Minister Vladimir Kononov said: “Back in 1943, our grandfathers defended this strategically important height. The same happened in 2014. Our brothers were in the same trenches in which our grandfathers fought. We bow low to those who fought here and fell during WWII and in 2014. It’s important that we remember it.”

After the flower laying ceremony, the column proceeded to the Chapel which had been put up in memory of the Donbass volunteers who died in battles for Saur Mogila.

“I come here every year to venerate those who died in that terrible war. It is impossible to forget it, and the living should remember it and venerate our fighters who fought for our lives,” WWII veteran from Shakhtyorsk Ivan Prosyanok told the Donetsk News Agency.

The Saur Mogila Memorial Complex was unveiled on the hill bearing the same name in 1967. It comprised a 36-meter-high stele and a sculpture of a Soviet soldier. Later on an eternal fire was lit in memory of the WWII soldiers killed in fighting for the strategic height. The memorial complex took heavy damage as a result of 2014 fighting. DPR authorities launched restoration works. The Republic holds special events at Saur Mogila in the runup to Victory Day and Donbass Liberation Day every year. The Saur Mogila Memorial Complex marks its 50th anniversary this year.