Press Release on the Occasion of the Forthcoming 75th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War
Raising a banner of Victory over the Reichstag (Nazi German Parliament), April 30, 1945
Ahead of the 75th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, on the day of peace and triumph of justice, on the day when good triumphed over evil and freedom triumphed over tyranny it is our responsibility to look back at our history and remind the contribution of our ancestors to our live, our freedom and our heritage.
Seventy five years have already passed but every year, on May 9, Russia and the whole world continue to mourn those killed and remember the war. It obliges us to be highly responsible and realise more profoundly on the edge of what deadly precipice the world found itself at the time; the kind of terrible consequences to which violence and racial hatred, genocide and outrage committed against human beings could have led.
Sixty-one nations and almost 80% of the planet's population were drawn into World War II. The burning storm ravaged not only through Europe, but also through Asian and African nations. It reached the shores of the Arctic and Indian Oceans, the borders of Egypt and Australia.
The most brutal and crucial events which determined the drama and the outcome of that inhuman war unfolded on the territory of the Soviet Union. The war claimed lives of about 26.6 million Soviet citizens with 6.8 million military personnel killed and 4.4 million taken prisoner and missing in action. Over four years, 17 hundred urban and 70 thousand rural settlements were destroyed; more than 30 000 industrial enterprises were reduced to rubble. Nazis expected to enslave our people in an instant and destroy the country.
Their plans failed. The Soviet army first stopped the Nazis nearby Moscow. And over the three subsequent years, it managed not only to resist the assault but also to force the enemy back into his lair. The Red Army marked the victorious end to the war by liberating Europe, waging the battle for Berlin.
But the things could have turned out differently if the Allies had not entered the war with full determination to put an end to the aggression of the Nazi Germany and its satellites. Russia has never divided the victory into ours and someone else's. It will always remember the assistance from the Allies, the United States of America, Great Britain, France and other nations of the anti-Hitler coalition, German and Italian anti-fascists. It is well-known that African nations did not stand aloof during the hard times and that Batswana as part of Allied operation were involved in Northern Africa and Southern Italy. Many of them did not return home.
Victory Day is the dearest, the most emotional and the most inclusive commemoration in the Russian Federation. For the people of the former Soviet Union, it will forever remain a day of the people's great heroic deed, and for the countries of Europe and the entire planet – the day on which the world was saved.
The Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Botswana