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Russian embassy says US denied visiting Soviet graves in Alaska

A group of Russian diplomats prevented visiting the graves of Soviet soldiers who died in World War II, state media report.

The Russian embassy in Washington DC says US authorities have prevented a group of Russian diplomats visiting Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, from visiting the graves of Soviet soldiers who died during World War II, according to state media. russians.

“Unfortunately, local American authorities, without explanation, did not allow embassy diplomats to visit the Fort Richardson National Cemetery and kneel at the graves of Soviet pilots and sailors who died in Alaska in 1942-1945,” the statement quoted. TASS news agency to Russian diplomat Nadezhda. Shumova as if saying Saturday.

“Attempts to gain access to the memorials through the State Department were unsuccessful, the diplomatic note from the [Russian] the embassy in this regard was ignored.”

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A permit is required to access the cemetery at the US Army installation of Fort Richardson, according to the cemetery’s website.

Russian diplomats have visited the cemetery in the past, the embassy wrote on Twitter.

Nine Soviet pilots and two other servicemen are buried in the cemetery, TASS reported.

They died while flying planes from the United States to the Soviet Union as part of the lend-lease program of World War II. Lend-Lease was an effort, begun before the US joined the war, to provide the Allies with material considered vital to US defense.

Diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States have become increasingly tense since Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

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The Kremlin welcomed the results of the US midterm elections, in which neither Democrats nor Republicans were clear winners, but said the result would not “change anything essential.”

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“Relations remain and will remain bad,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters at the time.

Washington and Moscow recently engaged in a rare case of cooperation when they negotiated the release of American basketball player Brittney Griner, who was serving 10 months in a Russian prison, in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

The two countries also exchanged prisoners in April when Russia released former US Marine Trevor Reed and the United States released Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko.

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