Ukrainian WW II Sacrifices Remembered
Millions died fighting Nazis
Bouquets of roses were placed by the memorial – the communal burial place of Ukrainians who died during the deadliest military conflict in history, in terms of human casualties. Ukrainian historians estimate between 8 to 10 million Ukrainians were killed during World War II.
Ukraine continues to commemorate the traditional Soviet-style May 9th Victory Day, despite also officially marking the end of World War Two with the rest of Europe a day earlier. Officials have dubbed May 8th as a day of reconciliation in an effort to unite Ukrainians with different views on the war.
Since the start of Russia’s undeclared war in Donbas, Ukraine has sought to restore the image of its independence movement. During World War II, some independence groups including the UPA were prepared to ally themselves with Nazi forces in an effort to fight a guerrilla war against the Soviet authorities.
Russia has used this to portray several Ukrainians paramilitary movements as nearly identical to Nazi Germany. And at the same time, the Kremlin omits the Soviet authorities’ own pact with Hitler at the beginning of World War II.