Russia's Putin visits site of decisive WWII battle in Kursk

Russia's Putin visits site of decisive WWII battle in Kursk
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a laying ceremony in Kursk, 426 kilometers (266 miles) south of Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. Putin attended a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the battle of Kursk in which the Soviet army routed Nazi troops. It is described by historians as the largest tank battle in history involving thousands of tanks. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

KURSK, Russia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has attended ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Kursk, in which the Red Army routed the Nazis.

The July-August 1943 battle marked the failure of the last major Nazi offensive on the Eastern Front called Operation Citadel and decisively turned the tide of war in favor of the Soviet Union.

It has been described as the largest tank battle in history, involving thousands of tanks on both sides. The Nazis suffered major losses, from which they never recovered.

Putin laid flowers Thursday at the Unknown Soldier’s Tomb in Kursk, about 450 kilometers (280 miles) southwest of Moscow, and talked to war veterans.

The Russian leader also visited the battle’s memorial, which features historic Soviet weapons, including the T-34 tank and Katyusha rocket launcher.