VE Day: Ukrainian officials imply conflict with Russia equivalent to Nazi invasion
On the occasion of the 76th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of World War Two in Europe (Victory in Europe Day to much of the world), what since the 2014 coup in Ukraine has been celebrated as the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, President Volodymyr Zelensky visited a common gravesite where the remains of Ukrainian soldiers killed in that war are buried. He chose a war memorial in Lugansk – where his army is engaged in a seven-year war with the Lugansk People’s Republic.
His words spoke of peace; his appearance denoted something different. Accompanied by representatives of the European Union and the G7 (both groups have recently been subjected to fierce anti-Russian diatribes from NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, respectively), his address included this hardly opaque parallel:
“Today, like last year, I am in Luhansk region, in Milove district….Today, the Bell of Memory has appeared in this place. Each bell toll means that we will never forget what our ancestors did so that the next generations of Ukrainians could live freely on their land, in their state in peace and harmony.”
To drive the point home, he added the war against the Third Reich “was definitely not for…war to take our people’s lives 76 years later.” That is, eighty years later Nazi Germany 1941 = Russia 2021.
Regarding Russia, which he implied threatens Ukraine today as Germany did earlier, Zelensky also said that no nation has the right to “privatize victory in WWII.” What Russia celebrates as Victory Day for itself and all other former Soviet republics, Ukraine marks as the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation exclusively for itself.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also marked the day by commemorating the deaths of an estimated eight million Ukrainians.
Interfax-Ukraine‘s report of the Foreign Ministry statement (it’s not yet posted in English online) has the title “Ukraine today defends Europe, which emerged on ruins of World War II – Foreign Ministry.”
Part of the statement is paraphrased as “Despite the hope that war will never again come to the Ukrainian land, in 2014 Russia launched a military aggression against Ukraine and occupied part of the Ukrainian territory.”
Quoting directly, it shares this from the Foreign Ministry: “Today Ukraine defends not only itself, but the entire democratic Europe. The Europe that appeared on the ruins of World War II and is united by the main idea ‘Never Again.'” Lest the point be missed.
For those who have learned (or think they’ve learned) the history of the world’s deadliest war from viewing Steven Spielberg films or playing live-action video games, the last two words will clinch the deal.
Russia is the new Third Reich. Its president is the new Adolph Hitler. What Hillary Clinton said seven years ago in relation to Ukraine. The seeds of this revisionism were sown years ago. In one version, the one echoed today by the Ukrainian government, Ukraine was invaded by both Germany and Soviet Russia in the early 1940s, much as with Poland in 1939.
The dissemination of that claim aims to terrify citizens in the West with the dire prospect of Never Again becoming Once Again.