Donetsk, Aug 2 - DAN. The Donetsk People’s Republic on Thursday marked the 88th anniversary of the establishment of Soviet airborne troops. The celebrations began in the morning with a flower laying ceremony at the monument to Hero of the Soviet Union, army General Vasily Margelov, the legendary Soviet paratroopers commander.

Several hundred DPR residents, including officials, Paratroopers Union Central Council members, DPR residents and paratrooper veterans took part in the event.

“Paratroopers are the elite, they were the first to take arms to defend our land for the truth, honour, conscience and the idea of the glorious victories of our fathers and forefathers,” People’s Council deputy Yuriy Sivokonenko said addressing the rally.

An exhibition performance by the DPR Transport Ministry’s special task force unit Vityaz and the Peresvet military-patriotic club followed. Young fighters displayed unarmed combat techniques against knife attacks and firearms. The best paratroopers of the Republic received medals for Courage in Defending the DPR.

A car race and an exhibition of airborne troops equipment was arranged as well, and a field kitchen catered for visitors.

Paratroopers Day is marked in Russia and former Soviet republics on August 2. On that day in 1930, a unit of 12 servicemen parachuted during the Moscow Military District exercise outside Voronezh.*jk