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Ivan and Frank

Elbe Day veterans reunited for the first time after their Great Victory

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April 1945, allied armies launch a ‘pincer’ offensive against Nazi Germany on enemy soil. Soviet troops attack from the east and the American army from the west. On April 25 the allied forces meet at the River Elbe. With this decisive operation, the two armies effectively cut Germany in half and just two weeks later, the war in Europe ended.

Related: 70th anniversary of Sevastopol's liberation from the Nazis

It was a joyous day for the soldiers of both armies; Russian, Ivan Mozgovenko and Frank Cohn from America were among them. Now, the two old soldiers meet again in Moscow to celebrate the pivotal day that heralded the long awaited defeat of Nazism.

As true patriots, Ivan and Frank fought not just for their countries but for everyone threatened by Fascism, they fought for freedom. The former brothers-in-arms still remember Elbe Day vividly and recall the meeting as though it was yesterday.

Related: WWII veterans' first-hand accounts of the fight against the Nazis

They reminisce about their lives and the events that lead them to the banks of the Elbe. Both had volunteered to serve, convinced that fighting the Nazi menace was a duty. Both men were highly decorated for valour and their contributions to the operation’s success. Despite having lived through that bloody conflict and then experiencing real hardship, both men have been able to preserve a positive outlook on life. 

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