Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has introduced a bill that establishes that the Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in World War II is to be celebrated on 8 May in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s Parliament. Furthermore, he signed a presidential decree proclaiming 9 May Europe Day in Ukraine.
“It is on May 8 that most nations of the world remember the greatness of the victory over the Nazis. The world admires all those who were protecting and protected life. Who threw down the Nazi flags on the liberated territory and who opened the gates of the concentration camps. Who restored freedom to the nations, who destroyed and condemned Nazi evil,” Zelensky said in a video message posted on his Telegram channel.
The Ukrainian president noted that it was on 8 May 1945 that the Act of Unconditional Surrender of the Wehrmacht entered into force (it was signed late in the evening when it was already 9 May in Moscow, thus Victory Day is celebrated on 9 May in Russia — editor’s note).
“Now, as 80 years ago, Ukraine is fighting against total evil. Now, just like 80 years ago, Ukraine is fighting for the future — its own and that of the whole of Europe, the whole free world.
“<…> And together with all of free Europe, we will celebrate Europe Day on May 9 in Ukraine. A united Europe, the basis of which should be and will be peace. Our Europe, which Ukraine has always been, is, and will be a part of,” Zelensky stated.
Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk noted that other European Union countries also celebrate the Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in World War II on 8 May.
“The celebration of the end of the Second World War in Europe on 8 May is a European tradition. Since 2015, Ukraine has been celebrating this day together with the civilised world,” Stefanchuk wrote in a Facebook post.
Victory parades will not be held in at least 21 Russian cities on 9 May — “due to safety concerns” and “taking into account the current situation”, as per estimates of media outlet Verstka. On 8 May, Russia’s public service portal Gosuslugi emailed its users proposing they congratulate Russian soldiers in Ukraine on the Victory Day.