During his address on 8 May, commemorating the victims of WWII, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he proposes to establish 8 May as the Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in the Second World War and to celebrate 9 May as Europe Day instead of Victory Day. He submitted a draft law to Ukraine’s Parliament and signed a decree about Europe Day.
“It was on May 8, 1945, that the act of unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht entered into force,” the President said. “It is on May 8 that the world honors the memory of all those, whose lives were taken by that war. It is pure history, without ideological admixtures. And it is the history of our people, our allies, the entire free world. Today, we are returning it to our state… We will never forget the contribution of the Ukrainian people to the victory over Nazism. And we will not allow anyone to erase the role of Ukrainians in this victory… We will not allow the joint victory of the nations of the anti-Hitler coalition to be appropriated.“
In his speech, Zelenskyy also highlighted that today Ukraine is fighting against the same evil.
“We fight against it together in the same way – together with the entire free world. With the states and people who created a joint victory at that time. Who, remembering the terrible years of that war, who do not say ‘We can do it again!’ but defend the meaning of the words ‘Never again!’“
Speaking about the Day of Europe, Zelenskyy said it will also be “the Day of Europe, which has supported Ukrainians for all nine years of aggression and 439 days of the full-scale invasion.”
As was reported, Ukraine first started remembering victims of WWII on 8 May 2015, according to the decree of ex-president Petro Poroshenko. The country abandoned the Soviet cult of Victory Day, which was one of the founding myths of the USSR and remained the key even in contemporary Russia.