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Russia sets aside Aug. 1 to honor WWI vets

Dec. 31, 2012 at 5:11 PM

MOSCOW, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Russia will honor its World War I soldiers with a Remembrance Day every Aug. 1, the Kremlin Press Service announced Monday.

President Vladimir Putin suggested the addition to the law on "Days of Military Glory and Remembrance Days in Russia" during his State of the Nation speech Dec. 12, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

The announcement of the chosen date came in a press release Monday from the Kremlin Press Service.

An ally of Britain and France, Russia is believed to have lost 1.5 million soldiers in World War I from 1914 to 1918, with another 5 million injured, although those figures have been disputed, RIA Novosti said. It added Russia's involvement in the war was historically downplayed by the Communist regime, who regarded it an "imperialist war" that paved the way for revolution.

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