Russia is remembering the battle of Stalingrad, 70 years after the Nazi army surrendered, turning the tide of World War Two.
President Putin held a reception at the Kremlin that included many veterans of the six month onslaught, who want the city now known as Volgograd to revert to its old name.
And for a short time, during the official ceremonies, it will be.
“We have to do everything to keep the memory of Stalingrad and its truth alive,” the president told guests. “We have to fight against the attempts of falsifying the events of World War II and against those who try to adapt the facts with politically-minded conceptions and who shamelessly erase the heroic actions of the ones who liberated the world.”
Two million people on both sides died before the surrender on February 2, 1943.
Stalingrad became a symbol of immeasurable Russian resilience and determination.
Putin would welcome some patriotic pride. He has been under fire for corruption and a lack of political freedom in Russia.