By: Professor Roman Serbyn
History Department, University of Quebec in Montreal
The president of Ukraine should commemorate the end of World War II
together with the people of Ukraine. He should not be part of the
planned in Moscow for the following reasons:
1. The presence of western leaders in Moscow should not set an
for Ukraine. Western governments recognize the end of World War II on
8, the official end of hostilities, and can therefore attend the
on May 9 in Moscow. One should not forget that the Soviet Army did not
bring about the slavery of communism to these western governments and
western leaders do not take issue with Moscow in this regard.
2. Ukraine will be commemorating May 9 regardless, and it is
upon the head of state to remain in Ukraine with the citizens of
during their commemorations. Moreover, the victory of the Red Army did
not bring about a national liberation for Ukraine on par with the
powers' national liberation of France and other western countries.
3. It is na?ve to think that Yushchenko would have an opportunity in
Moscow to 'dot the i's' and inform Putin, Russia and the entire world
the real history of the German-Soviet war on Ukrainian territories.
4. Yushchenko and his administration took the initiative to finally
bring about a peaceful understanding between the various veterans in
And only the
president of Ukraine is capable of inculcating this reconciliation. Therefore, Yushchenko's place on May 9 is on the Khreschatyk with the veterans.
5. Regardless of one's politics, there were three military
in Ukraine during the war: a) the Red Army, b) the Galician Division
other German military formations, and c) the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.
The Ukrainian veterans of these armies must be regarded as equal in
6. The most important meaning Berlin's capitulation has for the
of Europe is not in the Red Army's victory over the Wermacht, but
in the end of hostilities and the return of PEACE to Europe. One must
that while the victory of Stalin's military machine saved the Ukrainian
people from the total destruction planned by Nazi Germany, it also
it to a gradual destruction by Communist Moscow. Such a questionable
is hardly worth celebrating.
7. For Ukraine, it is more virtuous to commemorate May 9 as a
Day". President Yushchenko has proposed to seat at the tables of
veterans of the Red Army, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and the Galician
Division. Only then, will Ukraine and Ukrainian veterans show the world
and their nation that Ukraine is a civilized country, worthy of
in the European Union, where the old lines of division have long ago