Statement from the Russian Ambassador to Zambia, H.E Alexander Boldyrev

Saturday, May 9, 2020

This year marks a very important anniversary – the Allies (Russia (former Soviet Union), the United States, Great Britain, France and other countries) won the Great Victory 75 years ago. The Victory over Nazism will always remain a heroic pinnacle in the history of Russia.

The passage of time has only emphasized the significance of that momentous event. Crushing Nazism has become a milestone in modern history that determined the present international order to a great extent.

However, victory came at a high cost. More than 27 million Soviet citizens and approximately 50-55 million people in total worldwide fell victim to Nazi aggression. Their memory is sacred to us.

Every year we witness the continuing growth of the “Immortal Regiment” initiative, as, on May 9, millions of people in Russia and across the world take to the streets to march with portraits of their relatives who fought in World War II.

We are delighted to see that this new tradition has also found a home in different countries all over the world.

Looking back on the tumultuous war years, we can confidently state the great significance of the lessons we all learned from the past. One of these lessons is that only united can we efficiently deal with the challenges and threats that are common for the entire humankind.

We pay tribute to our allies in the anti-Hitler coalition. We are thankful to the anti-fascists of various countries who selflessly fought the enemy as guerrillas and members of the underground resistance. We are grateful to the peoples of these states for their contribution to the common Victory.

Approximately one million sub-Saharan Africans served in some capacity during the Second World War. On the civilian front, even more African women and men produced vast quantities of food and strategic materials for the Allied war effort.

The impact of the war on the lives of ordinary people throughout the African continent was therefore unquestionably profound and substantial.

Russia and the Allies put a stop to the Holocaust, liberating hundreds of thousands of prisoners from death camps. The anti-Hitler coalition was formed during the Second World War and its concerted efforts brought the victory over our enemy ever closer.

Together the states managed to overcome a whole range of disagreements, including ideological discord, and unite in order to save civilization from the horrors of the Nazi plague. Russia has always remembered the allies’ contribution to the common cause.

At that difficult time, trust-based contacts between the leaders of the Allies allowed to promptly make important decisions regarding military strategy and politics – and, in essence, brought countries and nations together for the sake of exterminating a criminal ideology of hatred towards people.

I am certain that this invaluable experience of cooperation goes beyond the years of war and remains relevant to this very day. Understandably, approaches of different countries to various global and regional problems may not be fully aligned.

However, there are values that make momentary and opportunistic motives and calculations pale into insignificance. First of all, these values include ensuring peoples’ inalienable right to a peaceful and decent life.

To achieve this goal, the entire global community must consolidate its efforts while relying on universal international legal norms secured by the UN Charter.

In conclusion, I would like to underline that we must work together to defend the historical truth, and to fight an increasing number of attempts to skew information pertaining to those years. Veterans of the Second World War, wherever they live today, should know that we highly value their fortitude, courage and dedication to frontline brotherhood. We bow our heads before the heroism of the soldiers who won us our freedom back in 1945, the joy and celebration of this holiday will therefore always be mingled with grief and sadness for those who did not live to see these shining moments.

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