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Soviet soldiers ‘gave their lives’ to liberate Europe, restore human rights — Intel chief

Soviet servicemen, who liberated European countries from Nazi occupation during World War II, laid the groundwork for modern Europe, says Russia’s director of Foreign Intelligence Service

MOSCOW, January 17. / TASS /. Soviet servicemen, who liberated European countries from Nazi occupation during World War II, laid the groundwork for modern Europe, said Russia’s Director of Foreign Intelligence Service Sergey Naryshkin, who also serves as Chairman of the Russian Historical Society. He made the statement on Thursday during the first meeting of the working group tasked with arranging events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Eastern Europe from Nazism.

"Soviet troops completely or partially liberated the territories of nine Eastern and Northern European countries and freed more than 100 million people from the yoke of Nazism. <...> The Red Army reinstated basic rights to those nations, including the fundamental right to life. Millions of Soviet soldiers gave their lives to restore national independence. Their courage and bravery laid the foundation on which half of Europe stands to this day," the official emphasized.

A number of events will mark the anniversary of Europe’s liberation from Nazi tyranny. Representatives from the liberated countries and Soviet allies are expected to join. "We need to highlight the contribution of partisan and resistance movements in Poland, (the former) Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. I believe it would be right to invite representatives from those countries that were our allies during World War II. We also propose organizing a large conference marking the beginning of World War II," noted Alexander Chubaryan, head of the Institute for General History of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Plans are also in store to hold special seminars dedicated to the commemoration in schools, including those located overseas. In addition, previously unknown documents detailing the valor of Soviet soldiers and life in the occupied zones will be made public. Moreover, promoting and popularizing the heroism of Soviet forces through cinema was also discussed.

"I believe we need to hoist the flag, and have our historians, producers, directors and viewers keep it flying," said Vladimir Medinsky, Russia’s Minister of Culture. He also pointed to Hollywood movies about World War II describing them as an "ideological front" that lacks any real historical basis.

Those attending the meeting [of the working group] also talked with European representatives about staging joint commemorative events in countries liberated by Soviet servicemen and ways to safeguard historical facts from revisionism and falsification.