Victory Day in Ukraine – Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation

Victory Day in Ukraine

May 9 is a Victory Day and a national public holiday in Ukraine. While May 8 is an official Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation in the Second World War, so as to pay tribute to those who didn’t see the end of the global conflict. Ukraine honors the memory of the Second World War victims, along with nations of Europe and the United States.

It is a memorable day when all Ukrainians honor the heroic feat of the Ukrainian people, their outstanding contribution to the victory over the Anti-Hitler Coalition in World War II together with the other nations of the Soviet Union, people express respect, solidarity, and honor to all fighters against Nazism. Ukrainians never forget those who fell on the fields of battle and didn’t live until the memorable Victory Day.

At dawn on June 22, 1941, fascist Germany and its allies (Italy, Hungary, Romania, Finland) treacherously attacked the Soviet Union, without presenting any claims, without declaring war. It was an unprecedented blow of 190 divisions, about 3,000 tanks, more than 43,000 guns and mortars, about 5,000 aircraft, up to 200 ships. The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet people against the German fascist aggressors began. The first cities which were bombed by German aviation Vitebsk, Kovno, Zhitomir, Kiev, Sevastopol. Ukraine with its enormous raw materials resources and fertile lands became the epicenter of the battles.

Hitler perceived the war against the USSR as a matter of life or death, “Sein oder Nichtsein” – to be or not to be. Operation “Barbarossa” was a plan of a crusade, an ideological “holy war”, aimed at the destruction of the Soviet people, of all the foundations of its existence. For the Ukrainians, Russians, Belorussians and other Soviet peoples, the Great Patriotic War was really a struggle for their historical existence. The total irreversible human losses of Ukraine in this war, including those killed, died in concentration camps, starved to death, evacuated, sent to labor works to Germany make up to 14 million people. From January 1, 1941, to January 1, 1945, the population of Ukraine decreased from 40, 9 million to 27 million people.

 World War II Museum in Kiev

Among my Kiev private tours, I have a tour of World War II Museum. That one is one of my favorites. I’ve been interested in this topic since my school years.

Each year on the May 9 and since 2017 on May 8 hundreds of Kievans and guests of the city visit the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the WWII. We never forget. We remember.

Visitors of the Museum on May 9, 2017
Hedgehog — a simple anti-tank barrier, invented in Czechoslovakia, improved by the Ukrainian Major-General of engineering troops Michael Gorikker in 1941.
Nazi factories of death.
A bone grinder, for crushing bodies. The dreadful tool which was used by the Nazis in the Janovska concentration camp in Lviv. To process the bones of the executed prisoners into fertilizer.
Relic materials and items of the Soviet partisans and members of underground organizations.
On the first floor of the Museum, there are relics and belongings of the soldiers who struggle in the East of Ukraine in 2014-2017 against the Russian troops.
Rockets of the legendary Katusha multiple rockets launchers.
German helmets, maps, and pictures on bricks symbolize bloody battles and the defeat of Nazi troops.
The boats used in one of the most epic and tragic episodes in the history of the battle for Ukraine. “The Battle for the Dnipro” diorama in the central wall of the hall.
WWII Kiev museum tour
Behind me, there is the “Battle for the Dnipro” installation right in the center of the WWII Museum complex area.

At the cost of inhuman efforts, during this retreat near Kiev, Soviet troops managed to detain the enemy for more than two months. This is how the “Barbarossa” plan was disrupted. The chief of the ground forces, Franz Halder, said: “We lost the war near Kiev.”

BEST KIEV GUIDE is happy to invite you to the WWII Museum Tour to find out more about the biggest tragedy of the 20th century – II World War.

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