As Russian Sputnik News reported on Oct. 18th, led by General Pankov, Deputy Defense Minister of the Russian Federation, the Russian military team participating in the 7th CISM World Games presented flowers on the morning of Oct. 18th to the monument of the Soviet volunteer pilots who died in the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.
More than 2,000 Soviet volunteer pilots came to assist China during the Anti-Japanese Aggression War, among whom more than 100 pilots died in the air battle to defend Wuhan in the late 1930s.
"Today, together with the delegation athletes from the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, I deeply mourn for over 200 former Soviet soldiers who died here on the Chinese soil in late 1930s," Gen. Pankov said after the ceremony.
"We are very grateful for China's care for the monument of our soldiers. Today we have taken some earth from the final resting place of our soldiers, carrying it back to the Cathedral for Russian Armed Forces for future memory," he added.
Gen. Pankov stressed that these soldiers had fought bravely for China's freedom and independence. Russia and China have traditionally enjoyed strong bonds of friendship and camaraderie.
"Athletes from more than 100 countries will compete here in the land of China these days, and they are military personnel rather than ordinary people," Gen. Pankov said in a speech in front of the monument, adding that "Military sports have a far-reaching history and deep tradition, and most importantly, are outside politics." He wished the military games great success and all the athletes a good start and high scores.