Tuesday, May 09, 2006

European Presidents Putin And Yushchenko Independently Call For End Of Neo-Nazi Extremism And For Reconciliation Within Nations

"Russian President Vladimir Putin used the anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory in World War II to warn that neo-Nazis and other nationalist extremists cannot be tolerated in Russia.

In a brief speech at the start of a military parade in Moscow, Putin said the defeat of fascism in World War II must be a lesson that "those who are trying again to raise the defeated banners of Nazism, who sow ethnic strife, extremism, and xenophobia, are leading the world to a dead end, to senseless bloodshed and cruelty. For this reason, the defeat of fascism must be a lesson and a warning about the inevitability of vengeance."

Some 6,000 troops marched in Moscow today to mark the 61st anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany. Putin and other top Russian officials and dignitaries, including former President Boris Yeltsin, watched the parade....

The anniversary today was marked also in other former Soviet republics with veterans' marches and rallies and the laying of wreaths."

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty "Putin Warns Neo-Nazis, Extremists" May 9, 2006


"President Viktor Yushchenko today called for a reconciliation between Ukrainian veterans of the Soviet Army and nationalist militias who at one point fought the Soviets during World War II.

The role of the nationalist Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) -- who at various times fought Polish, Soviet, and Nazi forces -- remains a divisive issue in Ukraine.

In comments made as Ukraine marked the 61st anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany, Yushchenko said UPA veterans should enjoy the same social benefits as veterans from the Soviet Army.

He also expressed his certainty that "there will come a day when Ukrainian veterans will extend a hand to each other in the name of Ukraine's future. I am certain that we will witness a time when reconciliation will become reality for the Ukrainian nation."

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty "Ukrainian President Calls For Reconciliation Of Veterans" May 9, 2006


Many in the West cannot fathom the importance that the defeat of Naziism means to the citizens of the new nations formed in 1991 from the breakup of the Former Soviet Union. The nations of the Former Soviet Union lost an estimated 26 million lives after Hitler's invasion of Eastern Europe in 1941. Following upon the persecution of Jews throughout the 1930s, Hitler and his senior staff then decided that Slavs were "sub-human", and that their homelands should be cleared of habitation to make way for the further eastward Aryan and Germanic colonization of the Eurasian continent.

Russian President Vladimir Putin lays flowers at a stone block, reading Stalingrad, one of the blocks honoring the major battles of World War II on Soviet Union soil, at the nation's Kremlin Wall Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on the eve of Victory Day, in Moscow, Monday, May 8, 2006. Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusans, and citizens of other Former Soviet nations celebrate Nazi Germany's defeat, as major national holidays, on May 9.

Photo credit: Misha Japaridze and Associated Press. With thanks.


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