The pro-Western Ukrainian leadership has taken another step toward rejecting Ukraine’s Soviet legacy by jettisoning the term ‘Great Patriotic War’ – in reference to the Second World War – in favor of ‘World War Two.’ The term ‘Great Patriotic War’ was a term conceived by the Stalinist Soviet regime at the time of WWII to garner public support for the war effort. In fact, it was a cynical ruse designed to trick the population of the USSR – ordinary people who would die by the millions at the hands of the Hitler’s Wehrmacht – after Stalin had tried to form an alliance with the Nazis to divide Europe between Germany and the Soviet Union. Now, Ukraine’s parliament has rejected the Stalinist term with new legislation. This news report from the Russian press covers the story in a negative light, alleging that most Ukrainians do not support the move, and wish to go on celebrating ‘Victory in the Great Patriotic War’ on May 9th, as was done in the Soviet era. It is a momentous symbolic step, and it is not by chance that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko made the announcement during a visit to Ukraine of his Polish counterpart.
Poroshenko has laid equal blame on Stalin and Hitler for the outbreak of the Second World War.
KIEV, April 9 / TASS / The Verkhovna Rada has set May 8th as the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation in honor of all the victims of the Second World War.
261 MPs voted for the corresponding bill ‘On perpetuation of victory over Nazism in the Second World War of 1939-1945.’
The document repeals the Law of Ukraine ‘On the perpetuation of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945’ and names May 9th as ‘Victory Day over Nazism in World War II.’
The bill proposes using the term ‘World War II’ and abandoning the term ‘Great Patriotic War.’ During the commemoration of those who fell during the years of World War II, according to the draft law, the use of Soviet symbols is abolished.
As the head of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, Vladimir Vyatrovych, said from the podium of the Rada, it is necessary to remove ‘Soviet cliches.’
Statement of Poroshenko
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said he considers the roles of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin in the outbreak of the Second World War to be equal.
‘Hitler and Stalin together unleashed the carnage of World War II and then tried to split and divide Europe,’ he said in Kyiv during a visit of President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski to the Bykivnia memorial grave.
The statement by the President of Ukraine in Kyiv continues his campaign to rewrite history and vilify the Soviet period.
Rejection of the celebration of Victory Day on May 9th in Ukraine is a ‘side effect of European integration’ and ‘historical amnesia,’ Leonid Slutsky, head of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots, said earlier.
‘May 9th is a holy day for all nations and peoples that were part of the Soviet Union, of victory over the ‘brown plague,’’ Slutsky recalled. According to him, by creating a bill to postpone the celebration of Victory Day, ‘Kiev MPs are behaving like vassals of the West, forgetting their own history and spitting in the face of the descendants of those who gave their lives in the struggle against fascism.’
‘Such is the side effect of European integration – historical amnesia and joining the chorus of those who want to substitute the results of the Second World War, who deny the role of the Soviet soldier – and this includes Ukrainians – in the victory over Nazi Germany,’ said Slutsky.
Most Ukrainians are against the abolition of the Victory Day celebrations. According to a poll conducted by the ‘Social Monitoring’ Center and the Yaremenko Ukrainian Institute of Social Studies, almost 80% of Ukrainians want to retain the celebration of Victory Day on May 9th.
‘78.1% of respondents believe that the country should continue to celebrate Victory Day on May 9th,’ noted the study.
In this case, 8.3% of respondents believe it is not necessary to mark Victory Day, and 8 out of 100 respondents propose to celebrate this day on May 8th, following the example of Western Europe.
The survey was conducted from 13-20 March, and 2,800 people responded to the questions of the sociologists. The theoretical margin of error does not exceed 1.89%.