Why Yuschenko should commemorate the end of WWII in Ukraine

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 commemorations planned in Moscow for the following reasons:

1. The presence of western leaders in Moscow should not set an example for Ukraine. Western governments recognize the end of World War II on May 8, the official end of hostilities, and can therefore attend the proceedings 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 thus, western leaders do not take issue with Moscow in this regard.

2. Ukraine will be commemorating May 9 regardless, and it is incumbent upon the head of state to remain in Ukraine with the citizens of Ukraine during their commemorations. Moreover, the victory of the Red Army did not bring about a national liberation for Ukraine on par with the Allied 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 about 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 Ukraine. 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 formations in Ukraine during the war: a) the Red Army, b) the Galician Division and other German military formations, and c) the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. The Ukrainian veterans of these armies must be regarded as equal in veteran affairs.

6. The most important meaning Berlin's capitulation has for the nations of Europe is not in the Red Army's victory over the Wermacht, but rather, in the end of hostilities and the return of PEACE to Europe. One must realize that while the victory of Stalin's military machine saved the Ukrainian people from the total destruction planned by Nazi Germany, it also subjected it to a gradual destruction by Communist Moscow. Such a questionable 'victory' is hardly worth celebrating.

7. For Ukraine, it is more virtuous to commemorate May 9 as a "Remembrance Day". President Yushchenko has proposed to seat at the tables of Khreschatyk 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 membership in the European Union, where the old lines of division have long ago been mended.

Ukrainskyi tekst:
Prezident Ukrainy povynen buty z ukrainskym narodom 9ho travnia

Other links: