10 May 2010

Victory Day - 9th May

Yesterday was the 65th anniversary of ‘Victory Day’ on 9th May 1945.
Known throughout the former soviet union as the Great Patriotic War, the day marks the signing of the surrender document from Germany. Victory Day is a national public holiday in Ukraine and in most other FSU countries.
Although I ‘escaped from Kyiv’ for the weekend, I did get to see the highlights of the parade in Kyiv on TV.
One thing that still annoys me is that many people in the west of Europe including the UK, have very little idea how many people from the soviet forces died in what we know as World War 2. The soviet forces lost 25 MILLION people. Plus many westerners still regarding everything back then as ‘Russian’, when in fact Ukraine and Belarus played a major role in the war. But then again, I would say that most Ukrainians don’t really understand how we Brits were involved in the war. In the UK I think we moved on from showing all those old war films, documentaries and war stories around the late 1970’s or early 1980’s but here in the FSU, they are only just starting to really examine what happened in their Great Patriotic War. So many films are still being made to show this.

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