THE Russian city once known as Stalingrad yesterday marked the end of one of modern warfare's bloodiest battles with a military parade, a concert and a visit from President Vladimir Putin.

The city – which was renamed Volgograd in 1961 and which lies 560 miles south of Moscow – suffered six months of intensive fighting, beginning with massive air strikes, as Nazi forces tried to push deep into the Soviet Union and reach its Caucasus oil fields. At least 1.2 million people are estimated to have died before the fighting ended on February 2, 1943.

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