Russia for first time marks end of World War II

Russia for the first time officially marked the 65th anniversary of the end of World War. II

Last Updated: Sep 02, 2010, 21:31 PM IST

Moscow: Russia for the first time on Thursday
officially marked the 65th anniversary of the end of World War
II following the surrender of Japan in 1945, with scores of
events and parades in the far eastern parts of the country.

For most Russians in the Soviet period, WW-II was
limited to the conflict with Nazi Germany from June 1941 to
May 1945, also known as the "Great Patriotic War".

Earlier this July, however, President Dmitry Medvedev
signed a bill approved by the parliament to include the end of
WW-II on September 2 as a "memorable day" in Russia`s martial
history.

The official celebrations on the 65th anniversary of
the end of WW-II today began with wreath lying at the war
memorial in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on Sakhalin island by Federation
Council (Upper House) Chairman Sergei Mironov.

Soviet Union had joined the war against Japan on
August 8, 1945 and ten days later the Red Army defeated one
million strong Japanese Army in Manchuria after a 900-km
thrust through Gobi Desert.

The dispute over four Kuril islands occupied by the
Soviet Union towards the end of the WW II is still a big
irritant in bilateral relations as Moscow and Tokyo are yet to
sign the post-war peace treaty.

In his statement, Speaker of State Duma (Lower House)
Boris Gryzlov said the introduction of "September 2 as a
memorable day reminds us that our people were not alone in the
fight against the menace looming over mankind".

"The victory in the Second World War was won through
the efforts of all the member states of the anti-Hitler
allies," Gryzlov wrote in statement.

On May 9, for the first time US, British and other
allied troops marched through the Red Square in the `Victory
Day` parade in Moscow along with troops from Russia and former
Soviet republics.

Gryzlov also cautioned against "attempts to revise"
the outcome of WW-II, as three former Soviet Baltic states
claim that it ended for them with the "Soviet occupation".

PTI