Donetsk, Sep 8 - DAN. Donetsk People’s Republic Head Denis Pushilin extended his best wishes to the Republic’s residents on the 77th anniversary of Donbass liberation. He delivered his address from the stage in Lenin Square where a holiday show had just begun.

“The hero liberators’ feat is forever etched into our history; the valour of Soviet soldiers became a shining example for contemporary defenders,” Pushilin said. “We stood up as one to defend our Motherland: coalminers and steel makers, teachers and doctors, students and workers, the ordinary people whose freedom came under threat, and whose right to speak their native Russian language and remember and honour their history and the feats of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers was challenged. We, as our forefathers, have stood our ground. They cannot break us. Happy holiday, friends. We will prevail.”

Donbass marks Day of Liberation from Nazi Germany invaders on September 8. The regional centre - the town of Stalino (currently Donetsk) - was liberated in the course of the Donbass offensive in 1943.*jk