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The Russian central bank has circulated coins bearing the faces of the "Big Three" to commemorate the 55th  
anniversary of the Allied victory in World War II, the Russian daily Kommersant reported Friday.

The faces of former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, former US president Harry Truman and former British prime minister Winston Churchill are pictured on a limited collection of 500 commemorative coins, each valued at 100 rubles (3.50 dollars / 3.15 euros).

The three leaders met at the Potsdam conference in July and August 1945 to implement previous agreements made in Yalta and set up a new system of rule for a defeated Nazi Germany.

Churchill was replaced by Clement Attlee at the Potsdam negotiating table after losing in British elections.

Stalin was never pictured on bank notes during the Soviet era, although his face appeared on military medals given to millions of war veterans "for the victory over Germany," the daily reported.

"The central bank has given new life to the image of Stalin's guiding role 55 years after victory over the Nazis and 10 years after the fall of communism," Kommersant said.

MAY 2000

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