Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has compared Russia’s invasion of his country on February 24 to Hitler’s surprise attacks on the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941.
“Today, June 22, is the Day of Mourning and Remembrance of the Victims of War. A war that was to remain forever in the history of the 20th century and was never to be repeated. But it is repeated,” Zelenskyy said in his morning address.
On Wednesday, Russia has commemorated the 81st anniversary of the invasion, with President Vladimir Putin laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin wall.
Hitler’s forces launched surprise attacks on Kyiv, Moscow and Belarusian Brest on 22 June, a day that marks the start of what Russia calls the Great Patriotic War and is today known in the country as Day of Remembrance and Sorrow.
In Ukraine’s occupied port city of Mariupol, pro-Moscow activists lit 10,000 candles to spell out the phrase “Remember 22.06.1941”.
“Today there is no shortage of words that Russia did the same on February 24 as the Nazis did on June 22 … And I want to add only one thing. Then 1418 days passed from the morning of the invasion to the defeat of the aggressor. We must liberate our land and achieve victory, but faster. Much faster,” he said.
“This is our national goal, and we must work to achieve it on a daily basis. Not only the state, but also every citizen – at the level at which it is possible.”