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Los Angeles WW II veteran urges world to stand up to fascism in Ukraine

LOS ANGELES, May 09. /ITAR-TASS/. Whole world must stand up for rebuffing the showings of Nazism in Ukraine, Yefim Stolyarsky, the chairman of the association of Soviet veterans of World War II in Los Angeles told Itar-Tass.

“Quite naturally, I’m watching the situation in Ukraine and I think the people of that wonderful country should find a path towards dialogue,” he said. “There should be no interference because it will only fuel the conflicts and draw new a multitude of countries in the vortex of misfortunes.”

“Along with it, the world must stand up against fascism, including the one in Kiev,” Stolyarsky said.

As he spoke about VE-Day, he said it was impossible to describe all the emotions with words. “I was in Koenigsberg (then a German city in the southeastern section of the Baltic Sea, now Kaliningrad - Itar-Tass) on that day and when the rumors about victory were confirmed, we celebrated, wept, joked, and even kissed each other.”

“This is a great holiday for all of us today to,” Stolyarsky said.

Yefim Kutz, the vice-chairman of the association, told Itar-Tass he had had a narrow escape from death on that day. “We were riding from Prague to Budapest when we came under fire opened at us by the Banderites but by virtue of a miracle I survived.”

The Banderites were the followers of Stepan Bandera, the leader of Ukraine’s wartime ultra-right nationalism. They fought on the side of Nazis in many places far outside the Ukrainian territory.

About 150 veterans who fought on the Soviet front of World War II live in Los Angeles today and the main festivities will be held May 10 in the mayor’s office of West Hollywood. Officials of that town are also expected to come to the ceremony and to express respect for the veterans.

As a special feature of the celebrations, a competition of children’s drawings titled ‘Trace down your Roots’ will be held.

The association of Soviet veterans of WW II in Los Angeles was founded 37 years ago and it plays an active part in the veterans’ lives. For instance, it organizes courses of English for them, as well as legal and other assistance.