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9 May, 2010 10:30

WWII Victory parade in Kiev, Ukraine

The Ukrainian capital is marking the 65th anniversary of the Victory in WWII along with other former Soviet members of the anti-Hitler coalition.

Today’s celebrations started with the ceremony of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and continued with the triumphant parade on Kiev’s central streets.

This was the biggest military parade in history of sovereign Ukraine in terms of troop participation and hardware. And it actually is the first time since Ukraine became a sovereign state in 1991after the collapse of the USSR that Russian and Ukrainian troops have marched together in the central street in Kiev.

Over 70 servicemen from the Russian armed forces came to Kiev to participate in this parade. This clearly signifies how important this day is for both Russia and Ukraine, which back then in 1945 were a single Soviet state.

The celebrations will be happening all across Ukraine as May 9th festivities continue.

One of the main festive venues in Kiev is the memorial complex “The National Museum of Great Patriotic War 1941-1945”. Here the veterans and all those celebrating can enjoy a theatrical performance and a concert .There is also military equipment on display.

Performances for children are being held in practically every park of the capital.

Up to 7 million Ukrainians perished during WWII and many were put into forced labor.

Ukraine was one of the worst-affected victims of Hitler’s invasion in 1940s. Hitler saw this part of the world as very strategically important. It was from Ukraine that he planned to direct his attacks further into Soviet territory.

Hence capturing Ukraine in the first days of the Great Patriotic War was his priority.

The center of Kiev was set ablaze when the Germans were trying to capture it. More than 600,000 people became prisoners after Kiev felt. May 9 is a landmark day for Ukraine.