Ukraine celebrates Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation

13:10, 08 May 2016
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On May 8, Ukraine marks the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, which pays tribute to victims of the 1939-1945 World War II, according to Ukraine Today.

Photo from UNIAN

The date coincides with Allies' acceptance of Nazi Germany's surrender on May 8 in 1945, and this event is usually regarded as a symbolic victory over Nazism, Ukraine Today writes.

The memorial day is a relatively new national holiday for Ukraine. It was introduced just last year.

Ukraine also decided to celebrate 9 May as the day of victory over Nazi forces in the World War II, instead of the traditional Soviet-era Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War. The term 'Great Patriotic War' was used in the former USSR to emphasize that in 1941-1945 citizens defended the Soviet Union as their common homeland.

Ukraine's decision to introduce a new memorial day mirrors modern European tradition and comes in contrast to the triumphalism which characterizes the Russian Federation's Victory Day celebrations (May 9) under Vladimir Putin, the report notes.

The law says it is a sacred duty of the state and Ukraine's citizens to respect the victory over Nazis in World War II, veterans, Ukrainian liberation movement and Nazism victims.

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