On behalf of the Ukrainian people, the President congratulated all nations of the world on the 70th anniversary of Victory over Nazism.
President Petro Poroshenko delivered a speech at the solemn session of Verkhovna Rada dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Victory over Nazism in Europe. The Head of State devoted his speech to the place and role of the Ukrainian nation in the World War II and its lessons. “I have no doubt that we will win, because we are defending our native land. We will win just as our grandparents and great-grandparents,” the President noted.
The President expressed gratefulness to veterans: “In the ranks of the Red Army and Soviet partisan units, in the ranks of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, in military units of the countries of Anti-Hitler Coalition and in European resistance movements, you’ve saved the entire world. You’ve repelled the aggression against Ukraine from the West. Low bow to you for that”. The President has noted that the participants of the Ukrainian National Liberation Movement had attended such a ceremony at such a high state level for the first time.
At the beginning of the President’s speech in the Parliament, shots were demonstrated depicting the history of an ordinary family – warrior Ivan Zaluzhnyi, who went through the entire World War II, his daughter Halyna Zaluzhna and his grandson Ivan Hutnyk-Zaluzhnyi, who died heroically in the ATO area. The President approached Mr. Zaluzhnyi, hugged him and shook the veteran’s hand. “Dear Ivan Anikiyovych! The entire Ukraine is grateful to you for the grandson-patriot. Low bow to your daughter Halyna Ivanivna, as well as to all mothers of Ukrainian heroes. Let me bow to all veterans in your person for the great feat of arms, the liberation and salvation of Ukraine and the whole Europe!” Petro Poroshenko said.
Noting that the participants of that war couldn’t have imagined even in terrible dreams that after 70 years of peace, war would burst into the life of their grandsons and great-grandsons from the East, the President has emphasized that the motives of that war were the same: “Borders are like small boots for someone. Imperial ambitions. Dreams about the return of “ancestral lands”. Gross disregard for the international law. Alleged struggle for the rights of those who speak the same language with them”.
The President emphasizes that our country, which is facing military aggression, appreciates peace more than any other countries. “Parallels between the events in Europe in 1930s and current events are too obvious. Because Ukraine, which de-facto was not an independent state, became a member of Anti-Hitler Coalition and the people of Ukraine became a victorious nation. Although the end of the Second World didn’t make Ukraine free,” the President said.
Petro Poroshenko stressed that we had learned those severe historic lessons. According to him, “it is not necessary to explain to us what the occupation of the Sudetenland is, for we have two partially occupied regions – Donetsk and Luhansk. One shouldn’t remind us what the Anschluss of Austria is, for we have learned it from the annexation of Crimea”.
According to the President, the worldwide catastrophe could have been avoided “if people hadn’t buried their heads in the sand; if they hadn’t expected that each new portion of human blood would finally satiate the predator-aggressor; if they hadn’t solaced themselves with illusions that the disaster would not affect them”.
The Head of State has once again highlighted the losses of Ukraine and significant contribution of our country to the Victory over Nazism. Ukraine lost from 8 to 10 million people in that war. Over 2 million Ukrainian boys and girls were taken by force to work in the Third Reich. More than half of all Nazi divisions fought in the Eastern Front and they were destroyed here as well. Almost half of all strategic operations of German-Soviet war were held in the territory of Ukraine. 2072 Ukrainians deserved the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Legendary pilot Ivan Kozhedub, who shot down 64 Nazi aircrafts, became a hero thrice. Four operational and strategic associations of the Red Army created in 1943 were called “Ukrainian Fronts”. Ukrainian Oleksiy Berest raised the flag of victory over the Reichstag.
According to the estimations of historians, about 6 million Ukrainians fought against Nazis in the ranks of the Red Army. Both grandfathers of the President, grandfather of the President’s wife, who went missing near Odesa, and brothers of the President’s mother were among them.
“The recognition of Ukraine’s colossal contribution to the Victory over Nazism was the inclusion of Ukraine into the list of states-founders of the UN in 1945,” the President said and greeted UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was present at the session.
According to Petro Poroshenko, infamous statement that Russia would have won the war without Ukraine became a shock to most of Ukrainians. “These words desecrate the memory of fallen soldiers and the feelings of living veterans," he said. "Nobody has the right to monopolize the victory over Nazism and use it as an apology for its imperial policy! This victory is a common achievement of all progressive humanity, Anti-Hitler coalition and peoples of the former Soviet Union," he said.
The President has also mentioned present warriors. "Glory to ATO warriors, participants of war of the Ukrainian people for independence and European choice! Glory to Ukrainian volunteers! Glory to Ukrainian soldiers of all times and all generations!" the Head of State emphasized.
The attendees of the session paid tribute to the victims of the World War II and our Patriotic War for independence of 2014-2015 with a moment of silence.