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8 May, 2010 09:09

The Soviet Union’s input in the liberation of Europe is unforgettable – Slovenia

As countries around the world mark VE-Day, it seems that some of those who once fought side by side, have these days turned on each other.

Moscow is concerned that certain states have been criticizing the Soviet Union's role in World War II, and attempting to “rewrite history”.

In an interview with RT, the President of Slovenia, Danilo Turk, spoke about these attempts and other aspects of the USSR's wartime history.

“Certainly I have noticed the tendency to rewrite history and this is not surprising, because history is constantly being interpreted and re-interpreted,” Mr. Turk professed. “But for Slovenia, there are certain things which are very clear. Slovenia was occupied during WWII by both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. It was divided into two parts, and each of them was illegally annexed to the respective Fascist or Nazi state. So for us, WWII was a matter of life and death as a nation.”

The Yugoslav Liberation force was one of the stronger parts of the alliance against Nazism and Fascism and it co-operated with the Red Army, recalled the Slovenian president. “Small parts of Yugoslavia, including the small part of Slovenia, were liberated by the Red Army. And we are grateful to the Red Army for their contribution to that liberation.”

Danilo Turk emphasized that the role of the Red Army in the liberation of Europe was critical.

“It’s clear that the Soviet Union was the most affected country during WWII. It was attacked by Hitler’s armies and carried the main burden of the entire war effort on the side of the alliance of anti-Hitler forces,” he said. “So, it’s quite clear the sacrifices were enormous and the contribution the Red Army made to the liberation of Europe was historic.”

Speaking of current situation in Europe, the Slovenian president expressed concern about signs of a revival of Nazism.

“There are elements of Nazi ideology everywhere. They are not equally strong or equally relevant or equally rooted in domestic political cultures. But they exist and they have to be combated. Therefore, it is very important that the entire public opinion is mobilized against them.”

Another internationally important issue was touched upon, in the form of the new START Treaty.

“I think that the United States and Russia have made an important step towards a broader program of disarmament or arms control reform in Europe,” Mr. Turk said. “We have to see not only nuclear arms but also conventional forces. The time has come to look at European agreement on conventional forces and establish a new partnership within the entire European space.”