News / Europe

    Crimea Aggression by Former Soviet Ally Stuns Ukraine's WWll Veterans

    Crimea Aggression by Former Soviet Ally Stuns Ukraine's WWll Veteransi
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    Daniel Schearf
    April 04, 2014 3:44 PM
    Ukraine and Russia, former Soviet allies, are scheduled to jointly celebrate 70 years since the end of World War ll, but after Moscow's aggression in Crimea, some Ukrainian veterans are now reluctant to take part. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
    Crimea Aggression by Former Soviet Ally Stuns Ukraine's WWll Veterans
    Daniel Schearf
    Ukraine and Russia, former Soviet allies, are scheduled to jointly celebrate 70 years since the end of World War ll, but after Moscow's aggression in Crimea, some Ukrainian veterans are reluctant to take part.

    The veterans of Kyiv's Golosiivskyy district never imagined Ukraine would be the target of Russian aggression. Veterans' organization council head Sergei Koropov says they are still stunned by their former ally's annexation of Crimea.

    In the face of Moscow's continued military threats, plans to join Russia in marking the end of the so-called  'war against fascism' are being questioned.

    “That is why all veterans are now worrying how are we going to celebrate and get ready for this date," Koropov said. "Because, on the border of our dear and beloved Ukraine are brothers - Russian soldiers. There are tanks, armored vehicles.  And, in my consciousness, in my mind, I cannot imagine how this could have happened.”

    World War II Navy veteran Dmitriy Prohorov, who fought with the Soviets to defend Crimea and lost an arm in battle, says Russia's taking back the Black Sea peninsula by force is absurd.

    “This question should have been negotiated at a round table and decided for both countries, Russia and Ukraine," Prohorov said. "Both should own Crimea and work together to develop the territory and the Black Sea Navy. This would have been smarter.”

    Like many of Ukraine's veterans, Koropov has a Russian wife and says the two countries' destinies are interlaced.

    “I love our nation and do not want a feud," he said. "Even more, I do not want war. War should not happen between our countries. Let our politicians find an agreement, and we will support them.”

    Infantry veteran Georgiy Kireev fought in the Battle of Stalingrad where more than a million died. Shot eight times, he was mistakenly pronounced dead twice.

    “Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, are Slavic nations. It's one nation," Kireev said. "They should live in friendship and happiness. I hope that with time this will happen. Maybe, taking into consideration our age, maybe we will not be alive at that time. But maybe our grandchildren will unite again [in friendship] with Russia.”
     
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    by: Not Again from: Canada
    April 04, 2014 8:18 PM
    These former veteran "allies" are deluding themselves. Russia's imperialist ambitions have run for over 6 centuries; over those six+ centuries the imperialist Russian leaders, agrandized Russia from an enclave of Rus/Slav of about 300 sq km. into the largest country on the planet. Millions upon millions of Asiatic people and their cultures were obliterated by shear force. They destroyed countless millions of Turkic people, wiped out the Sarmatians, most of steppe Mongols, most of the Kamchatka Chinese, Ottomans, Tatars, and so on. Russia was, is, and will ever be an imperialist country. And Putin is more of a typical imperial Russian authoritarian leader, rather than those un-natural leaders, that oversaw the demise of the last Russian empire, the Soviet empire. There is a very good reason as to why Russia is the largest country on the world, and that is no illusion = it is the most imperialist country/nation on the planet with a long history of expansionism!
    In Response

    by: Not Again from: Canada
    April 05, 2014 10:51 AM
    Roman from Belorus-
    You are absolutly correct, the dastardly empires destroyed and were a detriment around the globe; but only the Russian empire continues its policies of not allowing people full independence and self determinsation, and continues its expansionism. The British Empire no longer exists, nor are the British continuing to expand. Although the dastardly legacy of all those past empires, the bad borders, continues to fuel conflicts in Africa, Asia, even South America. Most of the conflicts around the world were and are caused by the legacy of the dastardly empires. And Putin is embarked on an expansionist cycle.
    In Response

    by: Roman from: Belarus
    April 05, 2014 3:34 AM
    Do you know what was the biggest empire on the Earth?? Guess. Yeah, you are right, it's British Empire. And if I'm not mistaken, Canada is under Queen control!? And I'm looking at your text, and what I'm seeing...HYPOCRISY...How many indian was killed during inhabiting of Canada by british and french? And if you look at the past, you will see that all nations tried to invade neighborhood, tried to expand their territories, the biggest: british, russian, mongol, spain, portuguese, french, japanese. And russian didn't obliterate conquered nations: sometimes they mixed up them with russian, committed pro-russian policies: russian as main language, only russian supervisors. They tried to assimilate conquered nations. My country is as example of it))

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