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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

British Memorial to Soviet Vets Unveiled




LONDON -- Remembering an old alliance, representatives of the British and Russian governments unveiled a memorial to the 27 million Soviet citizens who died fighting the Nazis in World War II.


But those attending the simple ceremony Sunday, which coincided with Victory Day celebrations in Russia, were painfully aware that the modern relationship between the two countries is under strain as NATO continues its air bombardment of Yugoslavia.


Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov had been expected to attend the unveiling at the Imperial War Museum in south London, but canceled in protest at Friday's attack on the Chinese Embassy in the Yugoslav capital, Belgrade.


Russia was represented instead by its ambassador to Britain, Yury Fokine, who was accompanied by veterans from Russia and the former Soviet republics.


At the unveiling, Britain's defense secretary urged stronger links and cooperation with the former Soviet Union.