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Stalingrad victory offers Putin patriotic platform

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RIA Novosti

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) arrives at the reception in honour of the Battle of Stalingrad in Moscow in this picture provided by Ria Novosti February 1, 2013. Stalingrad will be back on the map for a few hours on Saturday, and Josef Stalin's face will be splashed on buses, as Russia remembers the battle that turned the tide of World War Two. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/Ria Novosti/Pool

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) arrives at the reception in honour of the Battle of Stalingrad in Moscow in this picture provided by Ria Novosti February 1, 2013. Stalingrad will be back on the map for a few hours on Saturday, and Josef Stalin's face will be splashed on buses, as Russia remembers the battle that turned the tide of World War Two. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/Ria Novosti/Pool
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RIA Novosti

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) sits at the table with WWII veterans during the reception in honor of the Battle of Stalingrad in Moscow in this picture provided by Ria Novosti February 1, 2013. Stalingrad will be back on the map for a few hours on Saturday, and Josef Stalin's face will be splashed on buses, as Russia remembers the epic battle that turned the tide of World War Two. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/Ria Novosti/Pool

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) sits at the table with WWII veterans during the reception in honor of the Battle of Stalingrad in Moscow in this picture provided by Ria Novosti February 1, 2013. Stalingrad will be back on the map for a few hours on Saturday, and Josef Stalin's face will be splashed on buses, as Russia remembers the epic battle that turned the tide of World War Two. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/Ria Novosti/Pool
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Photographer
RIA Novosti

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) holds a glass of wine sitting with WWII veterans during the reception in honour of the Battle of Stalingrad in Moscow in this picture provided by Ria Novosti February 1, 2013. Stalingrad will be back on the map for a few hours on Saturday, and Josef Stalin's face will be splashed on buses, as Russia remembers the epic battle that turned the tide of World War Two. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/Ria...more

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) holds a glass of wine sitting with WWII veterans during the reception in honour of the Battle of Stalingrad in Moscow in this picture provided by Ria Novosti February 1, 2013. Stalingrad will be back on the map for a few hours on Saturday, and Josef Stalin's face will be splashed on buses, as Russia remembers the epic battle that turned the tide of World War Two. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/Ria Novosti/Pool
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HANDOUT

Soviet soldiers fire from a ruined building as they fight against Nazi troops in the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in this December 1, 1942 file photo. The Russian city of Volgograd has approved the use of its wartime name at events on February 2, 2013 commemorating the 70th anniversary of the 200-day Battle of Stalingrad that turned the tide of World War Two. Picture taken December 1, 1942. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS Photo...more

Soviet soldiers fire from a ruined building as they fight against Nazi troops in the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in this December 1, 1942 file photo. The Russian city of Volgograd has approved the use of its wartime name at events on February 2, 2013 commemorating the 70th anniversary of the 200-day Battle of Stalingrad that turned the tide of World War Two. Picture taken December 1, 1942. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Handout
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HANDOUT

A Soviet soldier waves a flag in central Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in this February 2, 1943 file photo. The Russian city of Volgograd has approved the use of its wartime name at events on February 2, 2013 commemorating the 70th anniversary of the 200-day Battle of Stalingrad that turned the tide of World War Two. Picture taken February 2, 1943. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Handout

A Soviet soldier waves a flag in central Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in this February 2, 1943 file photo. The Russian city of Volgograd has approved the use of its wartime name at events on February 2, 2013 commemorating the 70th anniversary of the 200-day Battle of Stalingrad that turned the tide of World War Two. Picture taken February 2, 1943. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Handout
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HANDOUT

Captured Nazi servicemen stand in front of a damaged building in the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in this December 20, 1943 file photo. The Russian city of Volgograd has approved the use of its wartime name at events on February 2, 1013 commemorating the 70th anniversary of the 200-day Battle of Stalingrad that turned the tide of World War Two. Picture taken December 20, 1943. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Handout

Captured Nazi servicemen stand in front of a damaged building in the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in this December 20, 1943 file photo. The Russian city of Volgograd has approved the use of its wartime name at events on February 2, 1013 commemorating the 70th anniversary of the 200-day Battle of Stalingrad that turned the tide of World War Two. Picture taken December 20, 1943. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Handout
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HANDOUT

Soviet soldiers fire from a ruined building as they fight against Nazi troops in the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in this December 1, 1942 file photo. The Russian city of Volgograd has approved the use of its wartime name at events on February 2, 2013 commemorating the 70th anniversary of the 200-day Battle of Stalingrad that turned the tide of World War Two. Picture taken December 1, 1942. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS Photo...more

Soviet soldiers fire from a ruined building as they fight against Nazi troops in the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in this December 1, 1942 file photo. The Russian city of Volgograd has approved the use of its wartime name at events on February 2, 2013 commemorating the 70th anniversary of the 200-day Battle of Stalingrad that turned the tide of World War Two. Picture taken December 1, 1942. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Handout
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STRINGER

People cast shadows on a poster with a portrait of the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin during a May Day rally on International Workers' Day, or Labour Day in front of the statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in Russia's southern city of Volgograd, in this May 1, 2011 file photo. The signs read "Victory will be with us (bottom) and 130 years of Stalin's birthday." The Russian city of Volgograd has approved the use of its...more

People cast shadows on a poster with a portrait of the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin during a May Day rally on International Workers' Day, or Labour Day in front of the statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in Russia's southern city of Volgograd, in this May 1, 2011 file photo. The signs read "Victory will be with us (bottom) and 130 years of Stalin's birthday." The Russian city of Volgograd has approved the use of its wartime name, Stalingrad, at events on February 2, 2013, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the 200-day Battle of Stalingrad that turned the tide of World War Two. REUTERS/Sergey Karpov/Files
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