Appeal for peace to all Soviet veterans of the « Great Patriotic War »

18. März 2022

The FIR and its member federations never forget the great achievement of all Soviet veterans of the Red Army against the fascist threat. Together with the other forces of the anti-Hitler coalition, they played a decisive role in the liberation of Europe from Nazi barbarism and, thus, in ending the Second World War. At great sacrifice, they defended their own homeland and in liberating the Auschwitz camp on January 27, 1945, they reached that central site of the fascist extermination policy, the traces of which they had previously found in all occupied Soviet republics. The fact that the peoples of the Soviet Union had to pay with 27 million victims for this liberation struggle is a legacy that no one seriously committed to peace in the world can and must deny. Therefore, the Soviet veterans of the Great Patriotic War are in every respect entitled to raise their voices as a political and moral authority for peace and against Nazi ideology.

In the current situation of the Russian-Ukrainian war, FIR as “Ambassador of Peace” of the United Nations appeals to all former veterans of the Great Patriotic War, and their relatives:

Use your social and political influence and work for the immediate cessation of hostilities in this war. Whether you live in Belarus, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Israel or any other country, turn to the leaders of your countries. Ask them, through a dialogue with political leaders in Russia and Ukraine, with representatives of the military on both sides, to bring about an immediate halt to all fighting, including ensuring that no armed snipers prolong this fighting. An immediate ceasefire is necessary for the protection of civilians, among whom there are many former Soviet veterans and their relatives. They know better than anyone else does that the guns must be silent. Arms deliveries will not bring peace, only a cessation of fighting and serious negotiations between the warring parties.

Once the weapons are silenced, the next great task for you, veterans, begins. You, who gave your health and life for the liberation of the homeland and the crushing of Nazism, are now challenged to help start the process of reconciliation between the Russian and Ukrainian brother peoples, as it is called in your publications. In this, the FIR would like to support you.

On May 8/9 – the Liberation Day and the Victory Day –let us remember together in the different European countries the historic achievement of the veterans of the Red Army, how they fought together, hand in hand, against Nazism and for peace. This can be a basis of reconciliation – in Russia and in Ukraine. At the same time, we need the joint support of all Soviet veterans as we struggle in various European countries to preserve the testimonies and memorials to the liberation and the liberators.