Liberation of Austria
The 3rd Ukrainian Front of Fyodor Tolbukhin and part of the forces of the 2nd Ukrainian Front of Rodion Malinovsky entered the territory of Austria during the Vienna Offensive, which started on March 16 and lasted through April 15, 1945.
The Soviet Government had never recognized the Anschluss of Austria, i.e. its annexation by the Nazi Germany. As the Soviet troops entered Austria, it immediately proclaimed that the only goal of the Red Army is to assist the Austrian people in restoring their independence and democratic freedoms.
The first Russian units broke into the outskirts of Vienna on April 6, 1945. The Austrian capital was completely cleared of German forces on April 13 by the troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front. The Vienna residents welcomed Soviet soldiers as liberators. Thanks to the selfless, quick and decisive actions of the Red Army soldiers the one of the most beautiful cities of Europe was not destroyed and lives of thousands of its people were spared. The Eastern Austria, a home of over 4.5 million people, was completely liberated by early May 1945. Meanwhile the Allies cleared of the German troops the western part of the country.
26,000 soldiers of the Red Army lost their lives in a course of liberation of Vienna and Eastern Austria.