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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Minsk Honors Veterans

MINSK, Belarus -- Belarus's veterans and Jews were honored in weekend ceremonies marking the 54th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II

Belarus was occupied by Nazis and suffered massive losses during the war.

About 5,000 veterans gathered Sunday for a march and military parade through the capital, Minsk, led by President Alexander Lukashenko. Nearby, about 2,000 people rallied at the city's Yama memorial, site of a former ghetto where thousands of Jews were shot during World War II.

Local officials, Jewish organizations and diplomats laid flowers near the memorial. A prayer was read in Hebrew.

An estimated 810,000 Jews were killed by the Nazis in Belarus, some 200,000 of whom were Belarussian and the rest brought here by the Nazis from other European states. At least 100,000 were killed in Minsk alone.