22 June 2021

Eight decades – as long as a human life – are not able to heal the wounds of the greatest tragedy in the history of our people. During this time, the world managed to change far more than once, some states and rulers emerged and disappeared, several generations of people changed, but the date of 22 June still remains a reason for thought and reflexion. As Robert Rozhdestvensky wrote, ‘I remember everything that was not with me.’

It would seem that everyone should have learned their lessons from history. Germany repented and the descendants of the victims of World War II forgave it. However, there is still some restless feeling deep inside. Incessant calls for a revision of history, constant attempts to rehabilitate Nazi evil-doers, some special bravado – stripes or patches on the sleeves and swastika tattoos. And this is happening here, in Ukraine, where every fifth inhabitant died during the war...

22 June is not only the Day of Remembrance of those killed in the war (and I sincerely believe that the Day of Sorrow should be on 22 June, and not on those bright days when all normal people celebrate Victory Day). It is also the Day of Humaneness, the Day of special spirituality – after all, it was not by accident that on 22 June 1941, in the second week after Pentecost, the memory of all the saints who shone in the Russian land was celebrated. The Soviet leadership referred to their feats when admonishing the soldiers to the Patriotic War for the sake of defending the Motherland.

It is obvious that not any attempts by politicians will be able to tarnish the memory of those millions of Soviet soldiers who saved the world from Nazism. And not any attempts to revive Nazism can be justified.

The eyes of fallen heroes in faded and yellowed photographs look too vivid, their gaze is too piercing, the events of 1941 seem very recent – after all, this is not that long timeframe for history. And that is why any attempt to revise, to reconsider the events of those years is so painfully perceived by those who did not exchange humaneness for a desire to get a momentary hype, challenging history.

22 June. Eighty Years Since the Beginning of the Great Patriotic War.

We remember it and will remember forever!

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