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Spartak Moscow fans lay flowers at Southwark’s Soviet War Memorial

London SE1 website team

Spartak Moscow fans in London for Wednesday night's Chelsea match stopped off at the Soviet War Memorial in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park where they laid flowers in recognition of Anglo-Russian cooperation during World War II.

Spartak Moscow fans lay flowers at Southwark’s Soviet War Memorial
Flowers at the Soviet War Memorial
Spartak Moscow fans
Spartak Moscow fans pose outside the Imperial War Museum
Spartak Moscow fans lay flowers at Southwark’s Soviet War Memorial
Russian convoy veteran Stanley Ballard with a member of the Spartak Moscow delegation
Tayo Situ and Dmitry Alenichev
The Mayor of Southwark, Cllr Tayo Situ, exchanges gifts with former Spartak Moscow footballer Dmitry Alenichev

The fans, led by former Spartak Moscow player Dmitry Alenichev, received a civic welcome from the Mayor of Southwark, Cllr Tayo Situ.

Veterans of the Russian Convoys also took part in the ceremony.

"We are here in freedom today thanks to the great sacrifice of the former Soviet Union and the sacrifices of the United States of America and Great Britain," said Philip Matthews, chairman of the Soviet Memorial Trust Fund which established the memorial in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park.

"18 Soviet soldiers rest in cemeteries in this country and over 400 Soviet prisoners of war died as slave workers in the Channel Islands.

"We must never forget the sacrifices that these people made."

The ceremony was organised in association with the Football Unites programme which is a partnership between the British Council and the Russian Football Union to celebrate sport and the friendships created through sport.

Two years ago football fans from London took part in a wreath-laying ceremony in Moscow's Red Square.

The next public event at the Soviet War Memorial will be the Act of Remembrance at 12.30pm on Remembrance Sunday 14 November.

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