Washington - Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov stressed the need to prevent history from being rewritten on the 81st anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the greatest tragedy in the country’s history.
“Today it is especially important to stress, and I want to firmly rely on your support — we can't allow history to be rewritten. We can't allow people here in America and Western Europe to say that the Russians and Germans are to blame for what happened in 1941-1945.
“We must draw a clear line between those murderers — executioners and our heroes — liberators,” Antonov said.
He said that when the victory over Nazism was won, it was impossible to imagine that the roots of Nazism would still germinate and Nazi hotbeds could arise in some areas.
“Today... we can say that we unfortunately were mistaken then. Then we were all united by that victory and today we are forced to eradicate these roots of Nazism that have sprouted, including, I must sincerely confess to you, on our land, on Soviet land, on the land of Ukraine and in some other places, and we must fight. This is our fate,” Antonov said.
The candle-lighting ceremony in front of the Embassy started at 4am Moscow time — exactly 81 years after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union by attacking Brest, Kiev and other Soviet cities with the largest force in the history of warfare.
Every year on June 22, at 4am Moscow time, thousands of people in Russia and in other countries all over the world light candles in memory of the victims of the Great Patriotic War, and the event has also become a tradition for the Embassy in Washington.
The participants of the event honoured memory of the WWII victims with a minute of silence.
The event was attended by the Russian diplomats and their families as well as Russian media representatives.
The Great Patriotic War lasted 1,418 days and ended on May 9, 1945, when Nazi Germany capitulated. June 22 is observed annually in Russia and some other post-Soviet republics as Remembrance Day for the Great Patriotic War victims.