cities in different countries that have established permanent friendly ties in order to become better acquainted with one another’s life, history, and culture with the aim of achieving better mutual understanding and strengthening friendship and cooperation among peoples. The cooperation of cities is expressed in exchanges of delegations, athletic and performing groups, exhibitions, literature, films, photographs of the cities’ life, and information about experience in managing the urban economy.
The foundation for such cooperation among cities was laid in 1942, when the heroic defenders and residents of Stalingrad received a telegram from the authorities and residents of the British city of Coventry that expressed admiration for their courage and proposed the establishment of friendly relations. Fraternal and cooperative ties link dozens of Soviet cities with cities in other socialist countries. More than 100 Soviet cities maintain ties with more than 200 cities in capitalist and developing countries. Moscow maintains friendly ties with more than 50 capitals of foreign states. Leningrad has fraternal ties with Le Havre (France), Manchester (England), Bombay (India), and Turku (Finland); Volgograd with Hiroshima (Japan), Liège (Belgium), and Madras (India); and Odessa with Alexandria (Egypt), Marseille (France), Tripoli (Lebanon), and Genoa (Italy). Soviet cities have fraternal ties with cities in such countries as Senegal, Somalia, Zambia, and Togo.
Soviet united cities combined in 1964 in the Association for Communication Between Foreign and Soviet Cities. This association belongs to the Union of Soviet Friendship Societies and is a collective member of the United Towns Organization (Fédération Mondiale des Villes Jumelées). The Soviet cities of Alma-Ata, Baku, Vilnius, Volgograd, Donetsk, Dushanbe, Yerevan, Leningrad, Novgorod, Odessa, Petrodvorets, Riga, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi, Tallinn, Tashkent, Tbilisi, Kharkov, Yalta and Yaroslavl are members of this international organization, which in 1963, in Paris, designated the last Sunday in April as World United Towns Day.