Liberation of Russian Cities
The struggle to liberate the territory of contemporary Russia had continued from 1941 through 1944. The Red Army liberated the cities of Kaluga and Tver already in the course of the counteroffensive near Moscow. It also removed the immediate threat to the city of Tula, where the front line ran. It should be noted that along with the liberation of Kaluga, prisoners of the local ghetto were also released, which became the first ghetto liberated by the allied troops in the Second World War.
Many southern Russian cities were occupied during the German offensive of 1942. However, their occupation was not long-lasting due to the victory at Stalingrad and its consequences including the Battle for the Caucasus. Thus, Nalchik was occupied for a little more than 2 months (October 28, 1942 - January 3, 1943), Elista for 4.5 months (August 12 - December 31, 1942), for about 6 months were occupied Stavropol (August 3, 1942 - January 31, 1943), Krasnodar (August 9, 1942 - February 12, 1943), and Maykop (August 9, 1942 - January 29, 1943). Rostov-on-Don was under Germany occupation for the longest period of time (July 24, 1942 – February 14, 1943), excluding its brief occupation in 1941. The front line ran next to the city of Voronezh throughout the second half of 1942, as had previously been the case with Tula. Still, Voronezh was not completely occupied by the Germans. The enemy took control of Kursk in the autumn of 1941. It was liberated on February 8, 1943.
The regional centers of western Russia were under occupation until the summer of 1943. Some of them, such as Oryol and Belgorod, were liberated during the Battle of Kursk (August 5). Others, Bryansk (September 17) and Smolensk (September 25) were liberated in the course of developing this success.
The northern regional centers were occupied for the longest period of time. Veliky Novgorod was under German rule for 30 months (August 15, 1941 – January 20, 1944). It was liberated during the lifting of the Siege of Leningrad. Petrozavodsk was controlled by German and Finnish troops for almost three years (October 2, 1941 – June 28, 1944).