The ceremony of laying flowers to the Monument of Eternal Glory at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was attended by Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, the Commissioner of the Ukrainian President on Crimean Tatar Affairs Mustafa Jemilev, Ukrainian MPs and veterans, a QHA correspondent informs.
After laying wreaths and flowers at the Eternal Flame, the participants observed a moment of silence in honor of the fallen soldiers.
Fallowing that, a military band played the national anthem of Ukraine.
On the eve of the ceremony, Poroshenko’s appeal was posted on the presidential website on the occasion of the 72th anniversary of the expulsion of the Nazis from Ukraine.
Today we honor the great feat of the liberators of the Ukrainian land and express our sincere gratitude to the people who have won the right to life and freedom for our people, and rescued the European continent from the Nazis.
The victorious battle for Ukraine, which lasted for 22 long months, was a decisive factor in the defeat or the Nazi Germany forces and its allies. From the Dnieper to the Elbe, from Kyiv to Vienna, Prague and Berlin run the ways of fronts, being proudly called "Ukrainian". Of course, not only Ukrainians were at war then. And, of course, the Ukrainians fought on other fronts of World War II. They participated in the expulsion of the Nazis from Poland, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and stormed the Reichstag.
But the price of victory was terrible. During all offensive operations on the territory of Ukraine three million soldiers were bereft of life. Thus, only 1,066 soldiers were killed in the battle for the town of Melovoye in Luhansk, where the expulsion of the Nazis from Ukrainian land began.
We have to remember all those who died in those tragic years. Their historic victory over Nazism brought peace and freedom to nations, as well as mutual understanding and democracy that are now the precious achievements of all mankind.
Unfortunately, we now face a new tragic reality. For a long time, the Ukrainians have to defend their country with weapons, to confront the aggressor, who cynically decided to redraw borders by force.
Due to national unity and solidarity of the international community, as well as patriotism of Ukrainian soldiers, officers, volunteers and the entire society it became possible to build a strong army and to stop the Russian aggression. The new Armed Forces of Ukraine demonstrated to the world the fighting capacity, military skills and human qualities of servicemen who have proven that they are worthy heirs and successors of the military glory of the winners over Nazism.
We express our gratitude to all the veterans of the World War II, the participants of the liberation struggle, the modern heroes for their dedication and love for the motherland.
I am convinced that the Ukrainian people, being proud of you and your deeds, will win.
Honor and glory to you!
Glory to Ukraine!