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6 May, 2009 05:40

Red Army veterans celebrate victory in WWII worldwide

As Russia prepares to mark victory in WWII, six decades since leaving the battlefield, Red Army veterans around the world are gathering to remember their fighting days, and preserve the memory and facts of the war.

The Soviet Union entered the battle in the summer of 1941 after its Western Borders were attacked by Nazi Germany. It became the countries Great Patriotic War.

By 1945, WWII had killed more than 70,000,000 people around the world, and those who survived bear deep emotional scars.

The birth of the United Nations followed this most widespread war in history. That is why today, blazed in badges of sacrifice, American Red Army veterans gathered at the UN complex in New York, discussing the lessons and outcome of the conflict.

“With courage and heroism, we all fought for our Motherland. Together with our brave allies, we defeated a cruel and strong enemy, having paid a high price for that,” recalls Leonid Rozenberg, Red army veteran.

“My memories of war stay with me at all times. I constantly remember the battle,” says 92-year old Red army veteran Semyon Vaidman, who was at the frontline just four days after war broke out.

As Russia prepares to celebrate the 64th anniversary of defeating Nazism and Fascism, officials warn the tragic experiences of the past are being glorified and rewritten in parts of the world today.

“Unfortunately, a number of countries have recently been pursuing an undisguised policy of presenting as heroes those who participated in Nazi crimes. That includes the whitewashing of former members of the SS, which was recognized as a criminal organization by the Nuremberg tribunal,” says Ilya Rogachev, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN.

Russian human rights advocates point to an alarming growth of Neo-Nazism in Ukraine, the Baltic States, and parts of Europe.

The UN General Assembly has recently adopted four Russian-sponsored resolutions condemning the glorification of Nazism.