First Romanian military cemetery in Russia, inaugurated in Rossoshka

The Romanian Foreign Ministry’s State Secretary for Strategic Affairs Daniel Ionita alongside other Romanian officials attended an official ceremony inaugurating the cemetery of the Romanian military killed in World War Two in Rossoshka, the Russian region of Volgograd on Sunday, when Romania celebrates the Army Day, the ministry said in a release to Agerpres.

The event was organised by the Romanian Embassy in Moscow and was dedicated to the Romanian troops killed in the battle of Stalingrad, the ministry added.

During the official ceremony a central commemorative plaque was unveiled by the representatives of the Romanian delegation and the Russian local authorities, a religious service was officiated by a group of priests headed by Patriarchal Vicar-Bishop Varlaam Ploiesteanul, while the coffins of the Romanian heroes were laid to rest and were symbolically covered with dust brought from the historical representative places of Romania; wreaths were laid by the delegations of the Foreign Ministry, the Defence Ministry, as well as Romanian and Russian governmental and nongovernmental structures, the release added.

Ionita highlighted in an address the significance of arranging the first Romanian military cemetery in the Russian Federation and evoked the sacrifice of the Romanian soldiers during the Second World War. He underscored the good Romanian-Russian co-working in enforcing the Intergovernmental Agreement on the mutual protection of the war graves and reiterated the Romanian authorities’ readiness to continue such co-working for honouring the memory of the military killed in their two countries.

Following a visit paid by the Romanian foreign minister to Moscow in July 2013, the Russian authorities expressed openness to arranging a first centralising Romanian cemetery located in Rossoshka Commemorative Complex lying almost 35 kilometres from Volgograd.

The cemetery arrangement works were funded by the Romanian Government, they represent a reparative act to the memory of the Romanian soldiers killed at Stalingrad and offer Romania the possibility to join states such as Germany, Hungary, Italy, Finland and Japan, which arranged or re-built war cemeteries in the Russian Federation, the ministry stressed.

The remains of all the Romanian soldiers killed in the battle of Stalingrad are buried at the Honorary Cemetery inaugurated in Rossoshka, the National Defence Ministry announced in a release to Agerpres on Sunday.

Re-buried were the remains of the Romanian troops buried at Plodovitoye, Gromki and Izbushenski, the ministry added.

Marking the burial places of the Romanian heroes in Russia had so far been achieved by raising 15 monuments, in various regions, in the memory of the Romanian military who died while being prisoners in Russia.

Romania originally joined World War Two by the side of Germany and in November 1942 the Romanian troops held the most vulnerable positions on the line of the River Don and Kalmyka Steppe, with poor back-up possibility, poor hardware and with almost no reserves; the Soviet counter-offensive inflicted huge losses to the Romanian troops, so that the estimations between November 15, 1942 – March 15, 1943 were of 15,566 dead, 67,183 wounded and 98,692 missing servicemen, the ministry explained.

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