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Address of CIS leaders on the 70th anniversary of Great Patriotic War

June 21, 2011

The CIS Council of Heads of State adopted the Address of CIS Heads of State to the Commonwealth nations and the international community on the 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945.

Text of the address:

Seventy years ago, on June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany and its satellites treacherously attacked the Soviet Union. The Great Patriotic War began, the most terrible ordeal in the history of the peoples of the multinational Soviet state. They survived it honourably.

Rising in defence of their homeland, our peoples entered into a struggle with an insidious and cruel enemy at the fronts stretching from the Barents to the Black Sea, revealing to the world the greatest examples of heroism, fortitude, and patriotism both in battlefields and in the rear. They shared all the hardships and adversities equally, firmly believing in the rightness of their fight, and together they survived and vanquished the enemy.

The first day of the war, which was especially gruelling for those who bore the brunt of the Nazi troops, became the first step on the long road to Victory. We remember what it cost us and how much grief and suffering our people endured. The further those dramatic times recede, the stronger the feeling of gratitude and indebtedness to all those who defended their homeland and at great personal sacrifice liberated peoples of Europe from Nazi enslavement.

We remember with gratitude the contribution of the Allies and the anti-Nazi fighters in other countries, and we will never forget the sacrifices they brought to the altar of our shared Victory.

We bow our heads in the memory of those fallen in battle, tortured to death in Nazi concentration camps, those who died of hunger and misery.

The 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War reminds everyone that this must never happen again, that any aggressor will inevitably suffer just retribution. We consider it vital to convey to our descendants the historical truth about this war, its tragic beginning and victorious end. The Great Victory is one of the major historical events that unite the peoples of our countries. The Great Victory is the highest spiritual value, a moral reference point for all post-war generations, brought up on the ideals of friendship, brotherhood and good neighbourliness.

We, the Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States, call upon the international community to unite its efforts in building and consolidating peace without wars, conflicts or violence on the basis of the noble goals and principles of the UN Charter for the welfare and prosperity of all peoples and nations.

June 21, 2011