Saur-Mogila, Sep 8 - DAN. Thousands of people rallied at the legendary height Saur-Mogila to mark the 77th anniversary of Donbass liberation. The event was attended by all Donetsk People’s Republic senior officials led by DPR Head Denis Pushilin.

The participants venerated the memory of the fallen Soviet fighters with a minute of silence, laid flowers to the monument and the honour guard fired a gun salute.

Then they walked up to the highest point of the memorial site. DPR residents laid flowers to the graves of militiamen killed in defence of the height from Ukrainian forces in the summer of 2014.  Young Army Cadets national movement members stood on both sides of the walkway holding photos of fallen fighters.

Donbass marks Day of Liberation from Nazi Germany invaders on September 8. In 1943, the regional centre - the town of Stalino (currently Donetsk) - was liberated in the course of the Donbass offensive. To further advance in the region, Red Army fighters overcame Mius Front, a heavily-fortified German army defence line. The Saur-Mogila hill was a key defence point for which Soviet troops fought a fierce battle.

The height became one of Donbass liberation symbols. A memorial complex was unveiled here in 1967. It comprised a 36-meter-high stele and the sculpture of a Soviet soldier. Later on an eternal fire was lit in memory of the Great Patriotic War soldiers killed in fighting for the strategic height. The memorial complex took heavy damage in the August 2014 fighting. Saur-Mogila remains the key monument of Donbass’ military history. Every year, dozens of thousands people travel to the site to honour the memory of the fallen Great Patriotic War fighters.*jk