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Britain Hails 'Shared History' 75 Years After WWII Arctic Convoys To U.S.S.R.

The United Kingdom's Princess Anne (center) attends a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the first allied Arctic convoy, codenamed Operation Dervish, at the Russian port of Arkhangelsk during World War II.

Princess Anne has paid tribute to the United Kingdom's "shared history" with Russia 75 years after the arrival of the first Arctic convoys from Britain at the northern port city of Arkhangelsk during World War II.

Wearing naval uniform, Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, told British and Russian veterans at an August 31 ceremony held in Arkhangelsk that they "played a crucial role in the victory over Nazism."

During the ceremony, veterans holding red carnations sat in front of Arkhangelsk's Eternal Flame war memorial as Russian officials and senior diplomats from the Allied countries gave speeches.

Between 1941 and 1945, nearly 80 allied Arctic convoys brought more than 4 million tons of provisions and munitions to the U.S.S.R.

More than 1,400 merchant ships and naval vessels participated in the convoys to the Russian Arctic ports of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk, braving harsh weather conditions and German attacks.

More than 3,000 Allied lives were lost by the time the war ended.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax