The message reads in part:
“Veliky Novgorod, the cradle of ancient Russian statehood, has always played a special role in the history of Russia and in forming the traditions of civic awareness and patriotism. It has served as a reliable outpost on Russia’s northwestern borders, staunchly withstanding the onslaught of enemy hordes over the centuries.
A ruthless enemy besieged its ancient walls once again in the summer of 1941. The lengthy occupation lasted for 883 days, inflicting tremendous losses on the city. The people will always remember the heroic feat of Red Army officers and soldiers who expelled the invaders from Veliky Novgorod in January 1944. And, of course, the selfless work of those who rebuilt the city and preserved our spiritual relics and priceless historical and cultural landmarks for posterity also deserves the most profound gratitude.
Today, Veliky Novgorod bears the honorary title of the City of Military Glory with dignity. It is important that you sincerely love your region, are proud of heroic episodes of its military history and treat Great Patriotic War veterans who brought us peace and the joy of living in a free country with the utmost respect.”