According to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, yesterday's festivities in Normandy devoted to the 60th anniversary of opening the second front in WWII emphasized the role of the Soviet Union in the victory over the Nazi.
These festivities are a correct and timely event organized by French President Jacques Chirac, stressed the Russian president.
Putin recalled that international cooperation in combating the Nazi began long before the war, basically shortly after Hitler came to power.
"Our first allies were German anti-Nazi," said Putin. The Russian head of state remarked that this helped strengthen the anti-Nazi coalition.
"The second front was there long before it was officially opened - the USSR received considerable aid from the US in food and weapons," recalled Putin.
"Then, the cold war began, and the West hushed up the USSR's role in the victory over the Nazi for ideological and political reasons, and we hushed up the role of the second front. Now that the cold war is thankfully over, it is time for unbiased approach to the events of 60 years ago," stressed the Russian leader.
He continued that the Allies had 1.5 million people on the Western front, and the Nazi - 560,000. At the same time, there were 4.5 million of German soldiers on the Soviet-German front, and 6.5 million of Soviet troops. In Western Europe, the Allies had 11,000 airplanes, and the Germans - only 160. "The difference is obvious," said Putin.
"The USSR's role in the victory over the Nazi is unquestionable," stressed Putin, though some people in our country as well are still trying to place this role in doubt.
"During today's festivities, the French president praised the USSR's contribution. The US president, too, said to me in a private conversation that had it not been for Russia, all this would not have been happening," said Putin. "This is a simple, clear, honest and sincere assessment," stressed the Russian president.
"We will not play down the importance of the second front either. It brought the victory over the Nazi closer," stressed Putin.
The Russian leader also remarked that WWII veterans set a very good example of how a common evil should be combated.
"It is time to remember it now that the world is faced with serious threats. One of them is international terrorism, which should be combated jointly," the president said to a RIA Novosti correspondent after the gala ceremony was over.
"Veterans set a good example for us as to how a common evil should be combated, and we will try to follow their example," concluded the president.