Soviet War Memorial – Remembrance Sunday (13.11.2017)

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Soviet War Memorial – Imperial War Museum – London

Around a hundred people gathered on a cold November day in the ground of the Imperial War Museum (London), to pay their respects to 27-40 million Soviet dead and wounded suffered during what the West calls ‘WWII’, and the Russians the ‘Great Patriotic War’ (1941-1945). This was a brutal war of extermination and survival, with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi German forces invading the USSR and immediately initiating ‘Operation Ost’ – the intended extermination of the Slavic ethnicity. Hitler intended to use the geographical space gained from a defeated Soviet Union as a means to create a ‘Greater Germany’. In the meantime, the Soviet Red Army, whilst suffering terrible casualties and set-backs in the face of the enemy, slowly but surely began to consolidate its presence, and push the Nazi German forces back toward their homeland. The Soviet defeat of fascism essentially gave the Western powers a fighting chance in France and beyond. Hurrah to the Soviet people! Every year the number of British Veterans who fought with the Soviet Red Army reduces – with none now being under 80 years of age. As the Old Guard falls away, their place in the line is often taken by their younger relatives. As British Veterans of the Soviet Red Army are not acknowledged by the rightwing British Legion – and are not welcome at London’s Cenotaph – these brave Veterans quite rightly congregate here.

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