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Putin's grandma, brother died in World War II

Vladimir Radyuhin

Liberators of Europe will forever stay in the hearts of people, says French Minister

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin's family lost almost half its relatives in World War II. Mr. Putin's grandma and brother died during the war along with "almost half of the mother's and father's relatives," the Russian leader said.

On the eve of the 60th anniversary of V-Day Mr. Putin for the first time told in detail the tragic story of his family that was shared by a majority of Russian families. Russia lost an estimated 27 to 30 million people in World War II. He said his mother, who survived a three-year blockade in Leningrad, would have died had it not been for a bad injury his father suffered at the front.

"My father was recovering from a severe wound in a hospital in Leningrad and he shared his daily food ration with my mother who visited him in the hospital every day," Mr. Putin said in a TV programme on Sunday. The second time Mr. Putin's father saved his wife was after he was discharged from hospital and rushed home to find a burial team taking his wife to the cemetery along with several other corpses.

Mr. Putin's mother was still alive but unconscious and the caretakers said she would die anyway from exhaustion. Father took her home and nursed her back to health.

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