The president congratulated those present, expressing gratitude to the older generation - the veterans of the Red Army and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Censor.NET reports citing the press service of the president.
"To everyone who fought against nazism on his or her post. You courageously overcame a long and thorny path to victory - through the flames of war, suffering and death; through the bitterness of defeat and irreparable losses. Every one of you personally defended our people's right to life at the cost of great sacrifice. You brought peace into our homes and to the peoples of Europe," the president said.
Poroshenko reminded that Ukrainians fought against the Nazis as part of the Red Army, the Soviet partisan units, as well as in the ranks of Ukrainian Insurgent Army, military associations of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition and the European resistance movements. "How can one dare to say that Russia could have won the war without Ukraine on the backdrop of such undisputable historical facts. Russia could never have won the war without Ukrainians!" the president stressed.
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However, war has come to Ukrainian land again. Defending Ukrainian independence and geopolitical choice, overcoming occupants not only by the power of weapons, but also by the power of spirit, today's Ukrainian warriors take an example from veterans - those who liberated Ukraine from fascist invaders. At the moment, new heroic pages have been written in the Ukrainian history already: liberation of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, Krasnyi Lyman and Lysychansk, defense of Mariupol, fierce battles in Donetsk and Luhansk airports.
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"Dear veterans, your grandsons are doing this. It is your school and traditions, your power and patriotism. You have reasons to be proud of your grandsons. Your grandsons defend Ukraine and cover each other. We can beat the enemy if we are united and strong from inside, if we believe in the Ukrainian Flag, Emblem and Anthem," he said.
The attendees honored memory of the fallen defenders of Ukraine of different generations with a moment of silence.
Veteran of the Ukrainian movement for liberation Stepan Petrash noted that warriors of the Soviet Army and Ukrainian Insurgent Army had been fighting against occupants on the opposite sides of the front during World War II. "Even though our foes are trying to diminish and falsify this great feat - struggle of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. We were not fighting against the Red Army. There was no such order. We were trying to find a common language, because we had one enemy. Now, we must offer hands to one another once again and build an independent, united Ukrainian state together," he said. According to the veteran, grandsons of warriors of both the Red Army and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army are now fighting together - "they do not need reconciliation - the enemy has reconciled them attacking our freedom and our land".
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Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would have won the Great Patriotic War even if Ukraine had not been part of the Soviet Union.
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