President Volodymyr Zelensky suggests that the Verkhovna Rada should establish 8 May as the Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in World War II of 1939–1945 in Ukraine. The corresponding bill was submitted to the Parliament. The Head of State also signed a decree on celebrating 9 May as Europe Day, not Victory Day.

This is stated in the address of the Head of State to the people on the occasion of the Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in World War II of 1939–1945

“On 8 May, Ukraine and the free world remember six terrible years in the history of mankind. From 1939 to 1945… The years that took the lives of millions of people, including eight million Ukrainians. The years of occupation and atrocities, bloody battles and bombings, blockades and mass executions, the Holocaust. All the evil that Nazism brought to the world, brought to our land. Different nations opposed evil in unity, as allies of the anti-Hitler coalition. The nations of Europe and America… Asia, Australia, Africa – each has its own history of fighting in that war, but the common history of victory,” Zelensky said.

Volodymyr Zelensky

He noted that on 8 May 1945 that the act of unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht entered into force. It is on 8 May that the world honours the memory of all those whose lives were taken by that war.

“It is pure history, without ideological admixtures. And it is the history of our people, our allies, the entire free world. Today, we are returning it to our state,” the President noted.

He stated that the Ukrainians will never forget the contribution of their people to the victory over Nazism and will not allow anyone to “erase the role of Ukrainians in this victory, our people, that generation whose memory we cherish in almost every family.”

“Remembering the heroism of millions of Ukrainians in that war against Nazism, we see the same heroism in the actions of our soldiers now – the descendants of those who secured the victory – the surrender of Nazism that day, on 8 May 1945. And we are proud of the heroism of the Ukrainian people! Then and now,” Zelensky stressed.

He added that now, as 80 years ago, Ukraine is fighting against total evil.

“Now, just like 80 years ago, Ukraine is fighting for the future – its own and that of the whole of Europe, the whole free world. Now, as 80 years ago, we rely on the common strength of free nations and know that together with them, we will always be part of a free Europe that will not submit to evil. And together with all of free Europe, we will celebrate Europe Day on 9 May in Ukraine. A united Europe, the basis of which should be and will be peace. Our Europe, which Ukraine has always been, is, and will be a part of,” Zelensky said.

The President stressed that he signed the relevant decree, and Ukraine will mark our historic unity – “the unity of all Europeans who destroyed Nazism and will defeat ruscism” – on 9 May every year starting tomorrow.

At the same time, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Korniyenko assumed that the law’s adoption of canceling the celebration of 9 May as Victory Day is possible by the end of this month. He hopes the Parliament will vote on the draft law immediately as a basis and as a whole, i.e., without special discussions and amendments.

Bohdan Marusyak

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