Sunday, June 23, 2013

On June 22, 1941 Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union marking the beginning of the Great Patriotic War

June 22, 2013 ( With commemorative events, Ukraine on Friday marked the 72nd anniversary of the start of the Soviet Union's involvement in the World War II, known as the Great Patriotic War in the former Soviet republics.During a ceremony, President Viktor Yanukovych laid flowers at the Monument of War Victims and said that Ukrainians should keep the memories of the war alive.
"The current and future generations should know everything about that terrible war, about every drop of blood, every tear shed in this war. Hard truth about the Great Patriotic War is still with us," Yanukovych said.
A moment of silence was observed in honor of the millions of Soviet soldiers who died during the war that lasted nearly four years. Nazi Germany attacked Kiev in the early hours of June 22, 1941.

The term Great Patriotic War  is used in Ukraine to describe the period from June 22, 1941 to May 9, 1945 in the many fronts of the eastern campaign of WWII between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany with its allies.
With 134 Divisions at full fighting strength and 73 more divisions for deployment behind the front, German forces invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, less than two years after the German-Soviet Pact was signed. Three army groups, including more than three million German soldiers, supported by 650,000 troops from Finland and Romania, and later augmented by units from Italy, Croatia, Slovakia and Hungary, attacked the Soviet Union across a broad front, from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south. For months, the Soviet leadership had refused to heed warnings from the Western Powers of the German troop buildup along its western border. Germany and its Axis partners thus achieved almost complete tactical surprise. Much of the existing Soviet air force was destroyed on the ground; the Soviet armies were initially overwhelmed. German units encircled millions of Soviet soldiers, who were cut off from supplies and reinforcements.