Q: Can you please assess the impacts of the great victory of the Soviet Union and Allied nations over fascism in World War II on the face of the region and the world at that time?
A: World War II is considered the war causing the greatest suffering and losses in the history of mankind. The great victory of the people of the Soviet Union and Allied nations over fascism had deep historical meaning, creating significant impacts on the face of Europe and modern world.
The victory was a motivation for the people in Asia, Africa and Latin America to fuel their revolutions and struggles for national liberation. The colonial system of imperialism was shaken and gradually collapsed. The rise of national liberation movements became an important force against imperialism and hegemonism to protect world peace. Peoples of Asian countries, including Vietnam, built up the government of the people and moved socialism forward.
Q: During the war, many of the Soviet Union’s Red Army soldiers laid down their lives for peace. Can you tell us about the role of the Red Army soldiers in the war?
A: The victory over fascism was a common victory for all of us and of peace-loving nations in the world which was attributed to the important role of the Red Army soldiers.
It was not only the triumph of artful military tactics, but also the triumph of the will, courage and above all patriotism. It was not just the victory of soldiers directly fighting on the front but also the victory of the people. My family witnessed my grandfather, my uncle and my father directly involved in fighting in World War II. Like the people of Vietnam, I understand the pain that each family had to suffer to obtain national independence.
Q: How do you evaluate the contributions of peace-loving nations around the world, including Vietnam, to the historic victory?
A: The great victory in the struggle against fascism belongs to all democratic and progressive forces around the world. It was a joint victory of all peace-loving nations, including Vietnam.
In December 1941, when Nazi Germany was just 30 kilometres far from Moscow, when the Soviet Red Army soldiers shared a feeling that “we see no way back, Moscow is behind us”, it was Vietnamese soldiers who stood be beside us, on the same front line to fight against fascism. They were Vietnamese friends who were studying in the Soviet Union and were voluntarily joined the battle with our people when Moscow was in danger. Soviet people are always thankful to the solidarity and attachment of Vietnamese people.
As our tradition, on the 70th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War this year, I and staff members of the Russian Embassy in Vietnam visited Cam Ranh city, where there is a monument of Russian and Vietnamese soldiers who laid down their lives in action, to lay a wreath in commemoration of their sacrifice for their national independence and freedom.
Q: Although the war has been behind us now for decades, its echoes are still resounding in today. How do you evaluate the significance of the war in the context of the unstable world today?
A: Fascism was defeated, World War II ended but it will always be mentioned in the history of mankind. Lessons learnt from this victory still have significance this unstable world today.
In my opinion, we have two must-do things: educate younger generations on patriotism and anti-fascism while spreading the truth and preventing any one from distorting the history of the victory in the struggle against fascism during the World War II.
As far as I know, many military academies in Russia and other countries in the world are teaching their students about lessons as well as experiences from major battles in the Soviet people’s Patriotic War.
Thank you for the interview!