Ukraine marks Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation

Ukraine marks Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation

On May 8-9, Ukraine along with the entire world marks the days of remembrance and reconciliation to commemorate the victims of World War II.

These days honor the memory of more than 80 million people whose lives were claimed by global-scale violence, people of all races and nations, men and women, soldiers and civilians, small children and old people — all those who died and all those who survived and went through all circles of hell of the World War II.

As President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated, it is crystal clear that a wish for peace is the most important one for Ukraine on these days. He stressed that the everlasting human memory for the colossal sacrifices of the World War II, for the thousands of destroyed cities and tens of thousands of burned villages warns the world against the danger of a repetition of this terrible catastrophe.

Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman stressed that Ukraine's losses in World War II were nearly the largest among the countries that suffered from Nazism. Historians still do not have a unanimous opinion, but it is known about at least 5 million Ukrainians killed and even more deported, repressed, evacuated, killed by the famine and the cold. Back then, every fifth Ukrainian died.

The German Instrument of Surrender signed on 7 May 1945 at Reims was an armistice agreement that ended World War II in Europe effective 23:01 Central European Time on 8 May 1945. A slightly modified text was signed in Karlshorst, Berlin on the night of 8 May 1945 by representatives of the three armed services of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) and the Allied Expeditionary Force together with the Supreme High Command of the Red Army, with further French and US representatives signing as witnesses.

The Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War (May 8 and May 9) is an annual international day of remembrance designated by Resolution 59/26 of the United Nations General Assembly on November 22, 2004. The resolution urges 'Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and individuals' to pay tribute to the victims of World War II.

In Ukraine, the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation was established by the Law of Ukraine “On Immortalization of the Victory over Nazism in World War II of 1939-1945”. Thus, Ukraine began a new tradition of marking May 8 and 9 in the European spirit of remembrance and reconciliation. May 9 is marked in Ukraine as the Day of Victory over Nazism in World War II.


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