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9 May, 2010 12:59

Russia deserves great festivities on May 9 - former New Zealand Ambassador

“Both our countries had the same goal to choose a free future. New Zealand and Russia shared blood,” says Stuart William Prior, former New Zealand Ambassador to Russia.

WWII was the most widespread war ever. 12,000 soldiers from New Zealand died fighting the Nazis. New Zealand forces fought in the war alongside the British and other Allied forces.

“The day for both of us [Russia and New Zealand], the celebration of the end of the war marks recognition of enormous sacrifice,” says the ambassador.

The Ambassador says that the WWII for him has a very personal touch, as his father served in the British Army from January 1940 through to the end of 1945. Later, after demobilization, he got married and had a child. In the 1950s, when the UK was scared of the Soviet Union launching another war, he got an order to report for duty. In search of peace, the family had to emigrate.

“Mr. Stalin was the direct reason why my family emigrated but it was the war that took us to New Zealand”, says Mr. Prior.