Who said Russian President Vladimir Putin is not a sentimental fellow? In an interview with TV host Vladimir Solovyov, in the documentary “World Order 2018,” Putin lauded the celebration of VE-Day on May 9 in Israel as “a manifestation of wisdom of the Jewish people and a mark of their historical memory.”
“We treat it with great respect,” Putin described his response to this very Jewish characteristic. “The Jewish people don’t forget how they were exterminated during World War II, and they’re right in remembering it.”
День Победы (pronounced Den’ Pobedy, meaning Victory Day), is a holiday commemorating the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War (the Russian name for WW2). It was first inaugurated in the 16 republics of the Soviet Union following the signing of the German Instrument of Surrender in Berlin, late in the evening of May 8, 1945 (it was after midnight, so the actual date was May 9, Moscow Time).
Israel has awarded the Fighters against Nazis Medal to WW2 veterans. It was first awarded on Yom HaShoah of 1967 by then Prime Minister Levi Eshkol.
Putin recalled that “other nations went through similar tragedies: I don’t even mention small ethnic groups, like the Roma who were exterminated en masse – I mean the Slavs,” he said.
Putin recalled the abundance of documents in the archives specifying in unambiguous terms what kind of fate the Third Reich had planned for the Russians.
“Some numbers [of Russians] were to be exterminated and some other numbers would be used as laborers at assigned works, and those whom the Germans couldn’t use as slaves would be resettled to in the extreme North,” Putin said. “This would be the genuine holocaust of the Russian ethnic group.”
“We shouldn’t forget this not because we’d like to accuse someone, but because this should never take place again,” Putin said.