Medvedchuk criticizes idea of canceling May 9 military
ParadeUkrainian News Agency,
Kyiv, Ukraine,
March 11, 2005

KYIV - The Social Democratic Party (united)'s leader Viktor Medvedchuk has criticized the idea of canceling the military parade of May 9, when the sixtieth anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War will be commemorated. Medvedchuk issued the criticism in a statement, a text of which Ukrainian News obtained.

"It was with deep concern that I learned of the information about attempts by the current authorities not to allow widespread ... commemoration... This involves, among other things, implementation of plans to abandon ye organization of a parade of by the Armed Forces in Kyiv on May 9...." the statement said. According to Medvedchuk, any actions aimed at devaluing the Victory Day would be an insult to millions of Ukrainian citizens.

According to him, such actions are being perceived as a reduction of the role of the Ukrainian people in the victory of Nazism, as a mockery of the memory of those who died, and as a lack of respect for war veterans. Medvedchuk expressed the conviction that a full-scale military parade should take place on May 9.

"The Ukrainian government should pay a symbolic due to those who ensured the great victory," Medvedchuk said. As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Deputy Prime Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Mykola Tomenko is initiating cancellation of the military parade on May 9, the day of celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the Great Patriotic War. Instead of a military parade, Tomenko is proposing a plan of measures that would permit each veteran to feel care of the state.

Such measures may include free medical examination for all participants in military operations, providing them with the necessary medicines, and increasing the one-off assistance payable to war veterans.