England football fans pay tribute to WW2 Stalingrad victims in Russia

Top British diplomat accompanies fans

England soccer fans and a top British diplomat paid tribute to those who died in the Battle of Stalingrad during World War Two on Monday in a moving ceremony ahead of England’s match against Tunisia, a gesture London hopes may help salve battered ties.

Monday’s game, England’s first of the World Cup, is being held in Volgograd, which until 1961 was called Stalingrad and was the location of the bloodiest battle of World War Two when the Soviet Red Army, at a cost of over 1 million casualties, broke the back of advancing German forces.

England begin their World Cup campaign at a time when relations between Moscow and London are at a post-Cold War low with the two countries at odds over Ukraine, Syria and the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England with a military grade nerve agent in March.

more at reuters.com