Russia’s contribution towards defeating Nazi Germany deserves recognition, not a boycott

Sanji Gunasekara

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Mongolia's President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (5th R), United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (3rd R), Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev (4th L) and other officials take part in a wreath laying ceremony on the Victory Day by the Kremlin walls in central Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2015.  REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Mongolia’s President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (5th R), United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (3rd R), Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev (4th L) and other officials take part in a wreath laying ceremony on the Victory Day by the Kremlin walls in central Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

The boycott by Western leaders of commemorations in Moscow on 9 May to mark the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany was shameful and hypocritical. It also reflects a revisionist version of history that denies the pivotal role played by the Soviet Union in defeating Hitler’s third Reich.

Germany’s losses to the red army on the Eastern Front were turning points in the Second World War and marked, arguably, the beginning of the end for Hitler.

It is understandable that Russia chooses to remember the almost unimaginable sacrifices made during the conflict. Soviet losses – 26…

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