May 25, 2022

Westside People

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“We defeated the Nazis, we defeated the Russians”: In Ukraine, the victory of 1945 is no more

Destroyed by Russian invasion Ukraine this year wisely celebrates the anniversary of its victory over Nazi Germany, but hopes for its victory over Moscow, while at the same time drawing a parallel on its soil to the brutality of the Nazis and Russian troops. .

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Unlike Russia, this former Soviet republic estimates its civilian and military losses of more than eight million people during World War II (1939-1945) and has already focused for many years on commemorating victims rather than celebrating.

But this year, the Ukrainians dream of another victory over Moscow, which has engulfed their country in fire and blood since the invasion that began on February 24.

“After decades of peace, Russia has brought back to Europe the horrors of the massacre of civilians,” Mikhail Podoliak, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidential administration, told AFP in a letter. But “Ukraine and Europe will have a new date for real victory over Russian expansion, chauvinism and Nazism.”

“This is not tomorrow, we will have to pay a very high price,” he added, adding that in the face of Ukrainian opposition, the Russian army abandoned the north of the country, but fierce fighting continued in the east and south.

The Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance has come up with a new slogan for this year. The banner, which reads, “We defeated the Nazis, we will defeat the Russians,” also features portraits of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler (1933-1945) and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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If the memorials are not released yet, “no meeting will take place” in Kiev, martial law and Russian strikes are obligated, Mayor Vitaly Klitschko warned on Friday.

Ukraine-Russia-conflict

AFP

Most iconic in Russia, the May 9 Feast is a major military parade event in Moscow each year, and in Red Square, the most patriotic crowd is increasingly instrumental in the power to ignite the nation by glorifying the “achievement of the Russian people.” .

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry on Sunday accused Russia of “using the memory and rules of World War II in a despicable manner” and Moscow said its invasion of Ukraine was aimed at “reducing” the country.

When the term ‘Great Patriotic War’ still in use in Moscow 15 years ago led to ‘World War II’ in official texts and history textbooks, Kiev began to withdraw from Soviet-style celebrations.

This trend was reinforced by the “de-Sovietisation” launched in 2014 by Moscow on the Crimean (southern) Ukrainian peninsula, following the annexation of Kiev in 2014, following the war in the East against the separatists backed by the Kremlin.

Since 2015, Ukrainians, like some Anglo-Saxon nations, have been using poppy as a memorial.

Seen as a ‘symbol of Russian occupation’ in Ukraine, the orange and black St. George ribbon used by Russians and separatists has been banned since 2017 and can carry a fine of up to 160 euros or up to 15 days in custody.

Ukraine-Russia-Conflict-History-WWII

AFP

Finally, since 2015, as in the former Soviet Union and Russia, not only May 9, but May 8 is commemorated with the so-called “Memory and Reconciliation Day” European tradition.

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Although May 9 was the most important symbol for 80% of Ukrainians until recently, the Russian invasion reduced this number to 34%, according to a poll released by the Ukrainian Institutional Estimates at the end of April, highlighting a “major shift in historical memory.”

One-third of Ukrainians now see it as a “monument to the past” and, according to the same source, almost a quarter of a normal day. Some politicians are calling for any celebration on May 9 to be abandoned.

For 62-year-old Volodymyr Kostiouk, the son of a former Soviet prisoner of war imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, the day always had a personal dimension, and it has disappeared today.

The Russians and the Ukrainians fought together against the Nazis, and that was our joint victory. Today the Russians are killing and torturing us and this common history is no more, ”said a bank employee.

“What party is this? Did we succeed only because they were destroying us now? “This person is protesting the escape of Russian bombs and fleeing Kyiv to the western part of the country.