Sunday, May 08, 2005

VE Day: Russia, Ukraine, and Europe

Today is the VE Day (Victory in Europe). It is celebrated across Western and Eastern Europe (this morning I heard that even in Germany they now celebrate it as the Day of Liberation), except Russia, Ukraine and some other post-Soviet states where the Victory Day is May 9th.
My Ukrainian friends, especially those from Western Ukraine, would tell me that there's nothing to celebrate. The showdown between two equally murderous tyrannies ended up with a victory for one of them that brought a new enslavement and dictatorship upon the nations of Eastern Europe. I understand this sentiment and I do consider Communism THE most murderous ideology (actually communists around the world have managed to slaugther more people than the Nazis). Yet I believe regular soldiers, Russians, Ukrainians and others, were heroes in SPITE of the monstreous regime behind them. Like my grandfather.

I can't find his wartime fotos at the moment hence I'm posting here the one
that was taken in the end of the 20s I believe.
He fought in the war and died something like 20 years before I was born.
So I never heard his war stories but what I know from my other relatives he was
no friend of the regime and a Ukrainian patriot.
I still have his war medals and I know he fought not for Stalin or the Great
Russian Communist Empire but for his relatives and his land against the aggressors.

The people of the Soviet Union lost 27 million, if not more, in that war.
Wipe out the entire Canada except Toronto and that would be it.

Vichna Pamyat! Je me souvien.


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