68 years have passed since the end of the Great Patriotic War...since the times when singing bullets, trench and bombing became the true story...story which will stay forever in memory of those who fought against fascism, who sacrificed themselves for others to live, who survived cold and famine to defend the native land.

The war was devastating for our people. About 27 million USSR citizens died by the enemy's hand, including 11.3 million people at the front, 4-5 million guerillas. Many people died on the occupied territory and in the enemy's rear. About six million people were captured. They fought till the last breath.

Thanks to those who survived the war and brought us the victory we can now live under peaceful sky and celebrate proudly the Victory Day. Words are not enough to express the gratitude to our veterans. Their heroism is priceless, and their deeds deserve to be remembered for generations.
On this holiday ForUm asked politicians and public figures what the Victory Day means for them.

Avigdor Eskin, Israeli political scientist, publicist, public figure:

- Victory over Nazism is celebrated all over the world. Some countries celebrate it on 8th, others on 9th of May. In Israel there are people who celebrate either one or another date.

This is a great event. If there had not been this victory, many of us would not have been born.

In Israel we live by Jewish calendar and celebrate Jewish holidays, but the Victory Day is like an exception. Even the most religious people put their routines aside and go to meet veterans and bring their children.

Valeriy Kal'chenko, MP from the "Batkivshchyna" (Fatherland) faction:

- The Victory Day is a very big holiday that means a lot for me. I always wish four words - longevity, health, love and prosperity. Now I explain why. It is good, when a person lives 100 years, but if he is sick all these years, then it's bad. Respectively, I add one more word – health for man to live a hundred years and not to be sick. But this is not enough. That’s why, I wish love. You can love a hundred years, but when there is nothing to eat, this is not enough as well. So, I wish everyone longevity, good health, love and prosperity. I emphasize - prosperity, because wealth spoils people.

Yaroslav Sukhiy, MP of the Party of Regions, member of the parliamentary committee on social policy and labour:

- I wish new generations draw the moral from our history. This peace and stability cost us a high price, and I would recommend certain hotheads from the opposition not to shake Ukrainian national identity.

Volodymyr Oliynyk, MP, Party of Regions faction:

- I wish all veterans good health. I call upon all Ukrainians to celebrate this holiday, to remember about the price we paid for this victory and support those who contributed to it.

It is also important to remember those who are no longer among us. When I told my father about the formation of the majority in the parliament, he gave me very wise message - "Son, the majority is already up there" - and pointed at the sky. - "Follow that majority and your deeds will be always right." We must praise those who died for peace w live in.

The number of living veterans decreases year after year, but more and more people come to participate in parades. Ukrainians bring photos of their fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers. I believe it is right and good tradition and we must continue it.

Petro Symonenko, MP, Communist party faction:

- Veterans deserve profound respect and reverence for deeds they have done. No matter how hard certain people want to wipe this holiday from our memory, they will never succeed.  

Oleh Lyashko, independent MP:

- I sincerely congratulate Ukrainians on the Victory Day! It is a special day for me. As of today, there are very few veterans, so I want to urge the young generation to find time to congratulate them and give flowers, ignoring the historical contradictions and political views. I wish this day became a day of national unity and national reconciliation, and this victory was a profound symbol. I wish all veterans, combatants and children of war good health, happiness, prosperity, good pensions and joy from children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I wish you leave all your problems in the past and have better life in the future.

Oleh Zarubinski, MP, Party of Regions faction:

- I am very serious about the Victory Day. This holiday is the symbol of faith, hope and gratitude. Whatever certain people say, veterans are true heroes. Those were horrible and difficult times, the war was devastating, but our people managed to fight and defend themselves, their families and the native land. Eternal glory to our veterans. This day is the victory over evil and hell, Nazism and fascism. Moreover, this is a holiday through tears. So many people cried and still cry over fallen ancestors, over soldiers who died young, over lost youth and lives.

I wish our veterans to stay among us as long as possible and continue to be a living example of courage, honor and self-sacrifice. I also wish young generations never experience such wars, but live in harmony and tolerance. Always remember that hatred should not define our path and that nobody has a monopoly on the truth.


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