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30 Jan, 2008 02:44

Russian war grave sold in Hungary

A plot of former farmland in southern Hungary, which holds the remains of Soviet soldiers from WW2, has been sold by mistake. Hungarian authorities say the sale was the result of a misunderstanding.

The local authorities of the Hishkopar village sanctioned the sale of a fruit garden, before realising the land's significance.

“There is an inter-governmental organisation between Russia and Hungary on the status of military burial sites on the territory of both countries. Under this agreement each side has to agree on any change in the status of military burial sites. In this case, the Russian side was not approached,” said Irina Zvonova, from the Russian embassy in Budapest.

“We assume that the Hungarian authorities simply did not know about the existence of the burial site,” she added.
More than 5 million Russian soldiers are buried in around 22,000 memorial cemeteries across the world. The majority of them are located in Europe, with Germany and Poland topping the list with roughly a fourth of all burial sites located there.
A smaller number can be found in Asia. More than 18,000 Russian army servicemen killed during World War Two were laid to rest in China.