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Sunday, May 9, 1999 Published at 04:04 GMT 05:04 UK

World: Europe

Russia marks Second World War anniversary

An old Russian military transport plane Li-2, the only one of its type in the world, will take off from Moscow later today on a trip to mark the anniversary of the end of Second World War in Europe.

The BBC's Andrew Harding: "It's more about honouring the past than scoring political points"
The plane will tour six Russian cities St Petersburg, Murmansk, Smolensk, Tula, Volgograd and Novorossiisk where some of the worst fighting took place before returning to Moscow.

The mayors of these cities will sign an anti-war appeal to the United Nations and UNESCO.

On the 9th of May 1945, a similar plane carried Germany's declaration of unconditional surrender to Moscow.

President Yeltsin is expected to greet a military parade in Moscow's Red Square.

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