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Russia’s Misuse of the Symbol of Victory
12 May 2014 11:01

ON MAY 9, 2014 we celebrated the 69th anniversary of the victory of states of anti-Hitler coalition – all freedom-loving peoples over Nazi Germany and its allies in World War II – a war that was the most brutal event in the history of the modern world and, of course, which changed the fate of mankind.

During the 1939 – 1945 war fiery tornado swept over vast territories in Europe, Asia and Africa and covered all oceans. According to reports, over 60 countries were participating in the war, nearly 100 million people around the world were mobilised in the armed forces.

Victory over the Nazi regime was taken by tremendous efforts and cost of huge human victims. In this war about 60 million people were killed, not to mention the wounded and those who were missing.

As part of the former Soviet Union, the Ukrainian people has contributed significantly to this victory and the Ukrainian Republic was among states-founders of the UN that confirms the recognition of its role by the international community.

After the attack on June 22, 1941 by Nazi troops on the Soviet Union, Ukraine has become one of the most important theatres of hostilities between the forces of Germany and its allies and the Soviet Army. Military operations on the territory of Ukraine continued from the first day of the Great Patriotic War and until the October 28, 1944, when the territory of Ukraine was finally liberated – that is 1225 days.

More than 7 million Ukrainians fought in the Soviet army. Half of them died on the front line and one in two of those who survived were disabled. According to some estimates, the Soviet Union lost about 30 million lives in the war, including 14 million Ukrainians’ lives. Ukrainians fully felt a Nazi “new order.” There were also 4 million civilians who became victims of the occupation regime.

Bearing in mind the high price paid by Ukraine for the liberation of Europe from the Nazi regime, nowadays our state stands for strengthening the security situation on the European continent.

Hence, it was a pity when the Russian President Vladimir Putin used the commemorations to visit Crimea, which Moscow in violation of all international norms and agreements seized from Ukraine in March.

Such visits of the Russian leadership are unacceptable to Crimea, which is an integral part of Ukraine. Ahead of the celebrations, Russia’s brutal interference into internal affairs of Ukraine was bent on sowing chaos in the country and the symbol of victory is used in an attempt to seize the territory of a sovereign state.

Unfortunately, due to the above-mentioned illegal actions of the Russian Side, the Victory Day no longer brings Ukraine and Russia close. As a result of Russia’s hostile Ukrainian policy, this day has completely ceased being a mutual holiday and will become a tragic date to remember.

Putin’s actions in the current environment discredit Victory Day and the joint struggle of the peoples of Ukraine and Russia with fascism, as well as unity of anti-Hitler coalition, cause irreparable blow to the memory of all the heroes of the terrible war. Therefore, the initiative of the Kremlin to convene on 9 May 2015 summit “of the states-winners” is rather hypocritical and cynical.

The current expansionist policy of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine and occupation of Crimea violates all international norms, as well as threatening the stability of the European continent as a whole. The international community has to influence Russia to respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and all states neighboring Russia.

Newspaper "Cyprus Mail", Borys Humeniuk

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