Press-release on the occasion of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Victory over Nazism in Europe (Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation and the Victory Day)
May 6, 2015
These days the mankind commemorates the victims of the Second World War and pays tribute to the fallen and war veterans, the heroes that sacrificed themselves for the Great Victory.
Ukraine marks this unforgettable event on May 8 as the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation and on May 9 as 70th anniversary of Victory over Nazism in Europe and Day of Victory.
During the years of the Second World War Ukraine was in the epicenter of the ruthless battles and invest the most priceless – the human lives, in the achievement of the Great Victory. In course of the war, Ukraine lost more people than the combined losses of the Great Britain, Canada, Poland, the USA and France. The total Ukrainian losses during the war are an estimated 8.1 million lives. Historians account for about three million of soviet servicemen and close to 1.4 million of prisoners of war to have perished during the military operations on the Ukrainian territory. About 3.9 million people lost their lives on the occupied territory of Ukraine – every 6th citizen. More than 2 million Ukrainians were deported to the labor camps in Germany. More than 700 towns and 28000 villages were completely or partially destroyed, close to 10 million people left homeless, more than 16000 industrial units ruined.
Source: Ukraine Crisis Media Center (http://uacrisis.org/between-the-devil-and-the-deep-blue-sea-ukraine-in-world-war-ii/)
During the Second World War, the front passed the whole of the Ukrainian territory twice. Through Kharkiv, the second largest city in the country, the front passed by four times. Ukraine lay ruined after the war.
Ukrainians became cannon fodder for two dictators – Hitler and Stalin. The victims of this clash of two totalitarianisms were both the military and civilian Ukrainians, the area between the Carpathians and the Don River became known as the “Bloodlands.” That was the price Ukrainians paid for a lack of their own independent state.
The Ukrainians fought against Hitler and his allies in the Polish, Soviet, Canadian and French armies along with those of the American and Czechoslovakian and in the European, African and Asian theatres of war and on the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
Liberated Kyiv, November 1943. UKRINFORM
We relish the tributes to the servicemen who perished on the battlefields while freeing Ukraine, and also to the civilians who suffered from the actions of the Nazi invaders. Ukraine will always remember those who gave their lives protecting and liberating it throughout the years of the invasion.
The memories of the brutalities of the Nazi occupation, when the part of the country again got occupied by foreign invaders, are yet to be erased from the memory of Ukrainian people.
70 years after the WW II Ukraine feels the smell of war again, sees its red color and hears the voice of those suffering from the conflict, which was brought to us from the outside, but already not from the West but the East.
And now it is the most tragic and incomprehensible to us that those with whom we were together, side by side, fighting fascism, those whom we considered earlier as allies and friends, today are bringing chaos and death in our home, and arm and finance bandits who cultivate terror in area which was peaceful a year ago.
Those with whom our grandfathers shed their blood together in the fields of battles against fascism in the last century, today, in fact, discrediting their blessed memory, stealing of our internationally recognized territory, savagely ignoring the UN Charter jointly signed 70 years ago and repeating Step by Step fatal errors that enabled starting the World War II in 1939.
Russian aggressive politics today supported by the overinflated levels of ultra-nationalistic and a chauvinistic sentiment of Russians got bigger than the Ukraine issue and is now taken by the international community as a threat to the world peace and security.
The people of Ukraine made an invaluable contribution to the victory over Nazism in 1939-1945 with their heroism in a struggle for the liberation of Europe. Today, Ukraine and Ukrainians are an outpost of the European civilization in a struggle for freedom, democracy and European values.