75th Anniversary of The Great Victory: Shared Responsibility to History and Future, Vladimir Putin

Por • 11 nov, 2020 • Sección: Internacionales

by Vladimir Putin

75 years have passed since the end of the Great Patriotic War. Over the years several generations have grown up. The political map of the planet has changed. The Soviet Union, which won a great, devastating victory over National Socialism and saved the whole world, no longer exists. And the events of this war have moved into a distant past, also for its participants. But why is May 9th celebrated as the most important holiday in Russia, and why does life seem to freeze on June 22nd and you have a downright lump in your throat? ( Editor’s note: Germany attacked the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 )

They say that the war left a deep mark in the history of every family. Behind these words are the fates of millions of people, their suffering and the pain of loss. And also pride, the truth and the memory.

For my parents, the war meant the terrible agony of besieged Leningrad, where my two-year-old brother Vitya died, where my mother miraculously survived. My father volunteered to defend his hometown, doing the same thing as millions of Soviet citizens. He was seriously wounded at the Nevsky Bridge. And the further these years go, the greater the desire to talk to the parents, to find out more about the time of war. But today it is impossible to ask anything, so keep the conversations with my father and mother about this subject in my heart, including their withheld emotions.

It is important for me and my peers that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren understand the trials and fears their ancestors went through. How and why did we survive and win? Where did their really iron strength come from, which surprised and fascinated the whole world? Yes, they defended their homes, their children, their loved ones, their families. But they were all united by their love for the fatherland. This deep, personal feeling is fully reflected in the nature of our people and has become something decisive in their heroic, self-sacrificing struggle against the Nazis.

I often ask myself: How will today’s generation behave, what will it do in a critical situation? Before my eyes I see young doctors and nurses who were just students, who are now going into the “red zone” to save people. Our soldiers, too, who face death in the fight against international terrorism in the North Caucasus and Syria, are very young people! Many of the fighters in the legendary, immortal Sixth Landing Company were 19 or 20 years old. But they all showed that they defended our motherland worthily in the war.

So I am sure that the character of the peoples of Russia is to do their duty when circumstances require, rather than feeling sorry for themselves. Selflessness, patriotism, love for one’s own homeland, one’s own family, the fatherland – these values are still of fundamental importance for Russian society. By and large, they are the guarantors of our country’s sovereignty.

Now new traditions have emerged that have come from the people, like the Immortal Regiment. This march of our grateful remembrance is the living link between the generations. Millions of people go to the events with photos of their relatives who defended the fatherland and defeated National Socialism. This means that their lives, their trials and sacrifices, the victory they gave us, will never be forgotten. (Note d. Translator: The Immortal Regiment is an impressive event where people take photos of their ancestors who took part in the war to walk through the cities. Here in Petersburg, where I live, it takes place on the central street. It is four lanes in both directions and the procession lasts for hours with the crowds rushing past the spectators shoulder to shoulder. The atmosphere is peaceful, but the pictures are more impressive than any documentary or book about the war. If you are shown in this way how many people from a city alone fought and suffered or died in the war, then you really go home with the thought “never again war!” )

It is our responsibility to the past and the future to do everything possible to prevent such a terrible tragedy from happening again. Therefore, I consider it my duty to speak about World War II and the Great Patriotic War in an article. I have discussed this idea repeatedly in conversations with leading politicians around the world and have come across their understanding. At the end of last year, at the summit of the heads of state and government of the CIS countries, we all agreed: It is important to convey to posterity the memory that the victory over National Socialism was primarily achieved by the entire Soviet people, that in this heroic struggle – at the front and at home – representatives of all Republics of the Soviet Union have stood shoulder to shoulder. In December I spoke to my colleagues about the difficult pre-war period. Sigue en…


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