The following is an article by Valery Hryhorash, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Ukraine in Lebanon: ‘World War II is the bloodiest war in history. It is taught in history books in all countries, including Lebanon. The world knows that many peoples, including the Ukrainian people, did everything they could and significantly contributed to the victory over Nazism. To this end, celebrations are held in many countries. However, the Russian Federation is trying to delude its people and other societies and peoples that it was the primary victor in this war, so it attributes the victory to itself and not to other peoples and states. The Russian Federation is trying to justify its aggression against Ukraine by carrying out an international propaganda campaign in which it glorifies itself and monopolizes the victory over Nazism to cover up the massacres committed by its army in Ukraine, following in the footsteps of Nazi Hitler. To this end, a few days ago, billboards bearing the “Badge of St. George” glorifying the victory of the Russian people in the war against Nazism appeared on the main roads in Lebanon. In this regard, we would like to show the Lebanese people the facts related to World War II, apart from the Russian propaganda campaigns. The Second World War 1939-1945, which began as a result of the agreements between the German National Socialist (Nazi) regime and the communist totalitarian regime in the Soviet Union, is the bloodiest and most brutal war in the history of humankind in the twentieth century, with a death toll from 50 to 85 million people. One of the main battlefields in this war was the Ukrainian lands. Nazi and communist totalitarian regimes committed many crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide on the territory of Ukraine, which resulted in heavy losses for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Ukrainians fought on the side of the anti-Hitler coalition as part of the Red Army, the armies of the Western allies, and underground resistance movements – and significantly contributed to the victory over Nazism. During 1939-1945, over eight million (about 3 million soldiers and 5 million civilians) Ukrainians and other peoples who inhabited our land were killed. Therefore, Ukrainians are well aware of the price of war. At the same time, Russian propagandists are trying to impose the view that Russia defeated Nazi Germany without any help and that the entire civilized world, especially the West, is indebted to Russia. The Kremlin tries not to mention in any way the role of the USSR’s allies in the anti-Hitler coalition in World War II, and the term “Soviet people” traditionally refers only to Russians. However, it is worth noting that there has never been a people named “Soviet” people. Dozens of people fought against Hitler’s Germany, and among them were, of course, the Russian people. Indeed, Putin chose to continue the policy of Russian dictator Stalin, who, as early as 1945, at a ceremonial reception in the Kremlin, raised a toast “to the health of the Russian people”, calling them “the most outstanding people” and “the leading force” of the Soviet Union in war, excluding the rest of the civilized world, giving himself the right to regard the Russian Federation as the victorious country. The celebration of the anniversary of the victory over Nazism in the Russian Federation has turned into a cult, into an ugly phenomenon of “victory mania”, the purpose of which is war-mongering, glorifying Russia and transcendence over other peoples, excluding himself as the “main victor”, justifying the aggressive ideological mobilization of citizens, as well as promoting Irresponsible and unfounded vindictiveness. Therefore, the form and manner of large-scale celebrations of “Victory Day” has long been a constant element of Russian propaganda to manipulate the international community and Russian citizens. Putin’s Russia, which talks about “the Russians’ decisive contribution to the victory over Nazism”, attacked Ukraine without prior announcement on February 24, 2022, and is waging a brutal, shameful and illegal aggression against us that was condemned by the international community. Today, the Russian Federation, whose practices have surpassed all criminal methods of Nazism and Communism, is encroaching on our lands’ integrity and territorial integrity and destroying the peace in Europe. With its armed aggression against Ukraine, the Russian authorities launched the first continental war in Europe in the 21st century, effectively destroying the system of international relations established after World War II and undermining the collective global security system. Today, the Russian Federation resembles Hitler’s Germany in the 1930s on the eve of World War II. Therefore, based on that bitter experience and historical lessons, the international community must remember that weakness, fear, and hesitation encourage aggressors to commit more and more crimes. It is why Ukraine warns other countries of the consequences of supporting, spreading, or indulging in Russian propaganda narratives about May 9, because the Kremlin uses Russian participation in the victory over Nazism as a moral justification for Russia’s current actions. Since the Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine has followed the European approach to commemorating World War II. Since 2014, the “poppy flower” has been a symbol of remembrance of World War II in Ukraine and Europe. Ukraine’s Law “On Commemorating the Victory over Nazism in the Second World War of 1939-1945” established May 8 as a day of “remembrance and reconciliation” to honour and celebrate with the European community all the fighters against Nazism and war victims. This year, Ukraine celebrates the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation for the second time in conditions of large-scale armed aggression on the part of Russia. This modern war has resulted in horrific war crimes on the part of the Russian army and the political and military leadership of the Russian Federation. Ukrainians take up arms to defend their homeland against a criminal, aggressive, malicious neighbour; they assert their right to freely choose their future; they defend Europe and give the world a chance to create a new, more just global security order and build a more lasting peace. But the condition for that is victory over Russia, restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity and preventing the Russians from attacking anyone on the planet in the future. After the win in the Russian-Ukrainian war, our state and the Ukrainian people will celebrate a new national holiday that united the entire Ukrainian society, the holiday of victory over racism – modern Nazism. When remembering World War II on May 8, the international community must realize that modern Russia is not the victor over Hitler and Nazism or the liberator of Europe. However, a cruel aggressor state that ignores international law seeks to change borders by force and is heading towards modern totalitarianism.’

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon