The Victory Day – more relevant than ever
Mr. Alexey Yurievich Dedov
O n the 9th of May the world is celebrating the victory over fascist Germany. On this day 70 years ago the war in Europe was over. In accordance with the tradition large-scale celebrations will be held is Moscow with more than twenty heads of state and distinguished guests from more than sixty countries coming to Russia. The Russian capital hosts these events in recognition of the fact that it was the Soviet Union that played a decisive role in securing a victory over fascism. Up to 80% of the German Army was concentrated on the of 1945 our troops took Berlin which Hitler, as it seemed to him, transformed into an impregnable fortress. We paid a heavy price for the Victory. During the war almost 30 million of Soviet people perished. More than 30 percent of national wealth – residential and public buildings, factories, infrastructure etc. – was destroyed. In 1941 Germans mounted deadly blockade on Leningrad (today Saint-Petersburg) and were watching the Kremlin through binoculars from the 30-kilometers distance. But we drove the enemy back from the capital, defended Leningrad, crushed the fascists at Stalingrad and Kursk with this battles a new chapter in the books of military science and history. Finally the Red Army liberated its own country and Eastern Europe. What was the key factor of our victory? Undoubtedly, it was valour showed by millions of multinational Soviet people on the front and in the rear. Unlike modern warfare when only a limited number of people are engaged in life, during the Great Patriotic War the Soviet Union literally transformed into a monolithic military camp. While soldiers were standing till the end to halt enemy’s advance deep into the country in the rear people were literally working till the point of complete exhaustion and stayed underfed doing their utmost to secure the Army has everything it needs. Like today’s Russia, the Soviet Union was a multiethnic society. The fascists with their world view based on ideas of racial supremacy considered it as our weakness. But it turned out to be their miscalculation and our multi-ethnicity turned out to be our strength. When recalling their years at war, veterans always and unanimously say that Soviet soldiers never discriminated between one another on ethnic basis and the brotherhood ties between peoples of the country became even stronger in the crucible of this war. We commemorate this day together with the veterans from the allied countries. In Russia we always remember those servicemen from armies of other nations who fought fascism on different fronts. Brotherhood in arms of Soviet veterans and the veterans of the Allies and profound sympathy between them cannot be affected by current political environment. Together they were making history.
soldiers from colonial India which two years later became independent as Pakistan and the Union of India. Muslim soldiers – they constituted about one third of the British Northern Africa and Italy. Soon these battle-hardened warriors made up the backbone of the armed forces of independent Pakistan. Two Pakistani Presidents, Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan, also went through the war. Probably, it was their combat experience that prompted them to develop relations with our country as one can rely realized that although we were waging battles at different theatres of war, we had the common goal and common enemy. This enemy showed no mercy to Russians and all others because it considered them to be “inferior”.It seems that some people try to downplay or even forget it. The major feature of the World War II was that it was not a usual geopolitical clash for power, territory and recourses, even though its scale was unprecedented. The war was sparked by the German fascism (a.k.a. national socialism, Nazism) which was gaining momentum in 1920s and, after seizing power in 1933 started pursuing belligerent policy. German fascism or Nazism is an ideology based on the concept of innate, racial supremacy of one peoples over another. According to the notions propagated by Hitler and his supporters, the mankind constitutes a hierarchy with Germans and peoples of North Europe being on the top. Other nations of Western and Central Europe which Germans wanted to subdue and make satellites of occupied lower levels. But their position in a fascistshaped global order was far better than that reserved for Russians, Ukrainians and other ethnic groups of the Soviet Union as well as for Polish and Jewish people. In the future German Empire they intended to partly exterminate and partly enslave them. As for Jews, they were subject to total liquidation only because of their nationality (so planned to colonize European part of Russia, give land to German soldiers making them new landlords. It is worth emphasizing that fascists made no secret of this issue, pursued their policy openly and consistently and minutely recorded their “achievements”. Nazis were implementing these “norms” on the occupied territory of the USSR where they killed 20 million civilians to make up two thirds of the death toll of our country. Eastern Europe experienced mostly the same with an extensive network of concentration camps being established all over it. In some of them –“labor camps” – people used to work in intolerable conditions dying of hunger, diseases and injuries. But some camps –“death camps” – like Auschwitz, Treblinka or Majdanek had the only purpose of extermination people belonging to “inferior races” and opposition groups. In these places human killing was literally put on the conveyor. During the Nazist rule from 1933 to 1945 18 million people had been into the camps with 11 million never coming back. today, in the 21st century. But facts are stubborn things. We are very much concerned about the developments in Ukraine which made immense contribution to the victory over Nazism when being a part of the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, radicals who try to make heroes of the collaborators of fascist occupation forces started exerting fact, proved at the Nuremberg trial, that these Nazist associates – so-called “banderovtsi” – committed acts of genocide against Russians, Poles and Jews. It is sad that marches of survived German collaborators and their young admirers had long become a notorious in Baltic states. In 1990s Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian governments introduced laws and formally discriminated between “citizens” and “non-citizens”. In spite of the fact that we are celebrating the 70th the memory about the valiant struggle of our grandparents Once again we recollect dozens of countries standing together against the common foe and winning the victory. We hope that today the world will learn lessons of the past to prefer stable world order and cooperation for the sake of humanity.