This week marks the 70th Anniversary of Liberation of Ukraine from Nazi occupation. 70 years ago Ukraine was liberated by the Soviet Army consisting of soldiers from 15 then-Soviet Republics: Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Armenia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
During the Second World War, Ukraine found itself in the middle of the furious battles and Nazi Germany’s occupation that resulted in deaths of around 3 million Soviet soldiers in Ukraine and 3.9 million Ukraine’s civilians. More than 1.4 million soldiers and 2 million civilians were captured in Ukraine and sent to the camps of death by Nazi Germans. The occupants destroyed in Ukraine more than 700 cities and towns, more than 28 thousand villages and more than 16 thousand industrial enterprises. More than 10 million Ukrainians lost their houses.
The Ukrainian people are deeply grateful and will always remember those soldiers and civilians who were fighting to liberate Ukraine from the Nazi occupation. We will never forget those millions of people who suffered and were murdered by the occupants.
It is very unfortunate that today part of Ukraine’s territory is again under foreign occupation. It is even more unfortunate that the invader is Russia, which 70 years ago was fighting side by side with Ukraine and other SovietRepublics against Nazi Germany.
Having violated the basic principles of the international law and its own guarantees of security given to Ukraine according to the Budapest Memorandum, Russia occupied Ukraine’s Crimea and invaded the Donbas area in the South-East of Ukraine, where Moscow supports separatists who are fighting Ukraine. The aggressive policy of Russia supported by an extremely high level of ultra-nationalistic sentiments of its people is now seen all around the world as a threat to the world’s stability and security.
Ukraine hopes that the memory of millions of innocent people who perished during the Second World War will make Russia to reconsider its aggressive policy and show full respect to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by withdrawing its forces from the territory of the independent Ukraine.