Tuesday, May 09, 2006


My grandfather proudly marched today in the first column of the parade in Kiev, capital of Ukraine - city which he helped to liberate during Eastern Front offensive. President Yuschenko - current president of Ukraine, extended congratulations to the veterans, and wishes that the world doesn't forget the sacrifice people of former Soviet Union made in defeating the most of the Nazi Wermacht forces on the Eastern Front, allowing for liberation of Europe by Allies, defeat of European Nazism, and end of WW2.

For those who don't know - Victory Day (Russian: Den' Pobedy) marks the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union in the Second World War commonly referred to in the Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War. This capitulation was signed late in the evening on May 8, 1945, following the original capitulation Germany signed earlier to the joint Allied forces. The Soviet government announced the victory early on May 9, a day after the signing ceremony in Berlin.
The May 9 Victory Day is celebrated in most of the successor states to the Soviet Union, especially in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The day is traditionally marked by ceremonial military parades with the most prominent one being traditionally held in Moscow Red Square.
Two separate capitulation events took place at the time. First, the capitulation to the Allied nations in Reims was signed on May 7, 1945, effective May 8. This date is commonly referred to as the V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day) in most western European countries. The Red Army's command however insisted that the Germans specifically surrender to the Soviet Union, which contributed most to the defeat of Nazi Germany, and held another surrender ceremony in Berlin late on May 8, when it was already May 9 in Moscow due to the difference in time zones. Field-Marshal Wilhelm Keitel submitted the capitulation of the Wehrmacht to the Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov in the Red Army headquarters in Berlin-Karlshorst. To commemorate the event, the ceremonial Moscow Victory Parade was held in the Soviet capital on June 24, 1945.


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