The liberation happened as a result of the Kyiv offensive operation, which lasted from November 3 to November 13, 1943 and was part of the Battle of the Dnieper, one of the largest and bloodiest military operations in the world history. It involved up to four million people on both sides, and more than two million people were killed.
During the liberation of Kyiv, the Soviet troops sustained huge losses, because at Stalin’s unspoken order the liberation of Ukraine’s capital had to be timed to coincide with the anniversary of the October Revolution.
The night of November 5th to 6th was the decisive in the Battle of Kyiv. The first tanks broke into the city on the Brest-Litovsk highway (now the Peremohy Avenue). The enemy’s resistance in the city was broken before 4:00. In the afternoon, the main units of the Soviet army entered Kyiv.
The city was destroyed and almost empty. The city center turned into the charred ruins as, retreating, the Nazis had set fire to everything they could. Only about 100,000 residents remained in Kyiv, i.e., only one tenth of the pre-war population.
In the last months of the occupation, the Nazis with the help of prisoners of war tried to cover up the traces of the massacres at Babi Yar and in the territory of concentration camps. However, it was impossible to conceal those atrocities.
The Nazi occupation of Kyiv lasted 778 days — from September 19, 1941 to November 6, 1943.
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