Russia Marks 68 Years since Nazi Germany Attack in World War IIWorld | June 22, 2009, Monday // 11:49| views
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev attends in the laying wreaths ceremony at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier marking the Day of Memory and Sorrow, the first day of the Great Patriotic War when in 1941 Nazi Germany attacked Soviet Union, Moscow, Russia, 22 June
The people of Russia and other former Soviet Republics are remembering Monday the 68th year since Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union during World War II.
On June 22, 1941, Hitler's Germany took Stalin and the Soviet leadership by surprise by breaking the Nazi -Pact of August 24, 1939, and invading the European territory of the USSR on a front of several thousand kilometers.
The Nazi-Soviet War is judged by many as the most fierce and bloodiest part of World War II. It is also often described as the decisive mistake of German national-socialist fuhrer Adolf Hitler that ultimately led to the destruction of fascism in Europe.
As a result of the attack and the four years of war in Europe, the Soviet Union suffered more than 26 million civilian and military deaths. After the defeat of the Nazis, however, Stalin's leadership got to establish a large sphere of influence in Eastern Europe - the so called Communist Bloc.
On the so called Day of Memory and Sorrow that led to the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet People, Russians and people from the other former Soviet republics remembered the victims of the Nazi invasion with candle-lit ceremonies starting Sunday night.
Another World War II event is remembered on the same date - 64 years ago, on June 22, 1945, the World War II battle for Okinawa ended with an Allied victory; some 13,000 Americans and 90,000 Japanese soldiers, plus 130,000 civilians were killed in the nearly three-month campaign.
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