US authorities have rejected a request by Russian diplomats to hold a solemn ceremony to mark the anniversary of the historic meeting of Soviet and American soldiers on the Elbe River in 1945. This was announced on April 25 by Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov.
“It is increasingly difficult for us to reach out to official Washington regarding the importance of preserving the memory and working together to perpetuate the heroes of those times. <...> Such an attitude is insulting not only for the veterans of the two countries, but also for everyone who remembers their great feat,” he said.
Nevertheless, Antonov stressed, the Russian side has always honored the contribution of American military personnel and ordinary citizens in the fight against the fascist invaders, and this will not change under any circumstances.
According to the head of the Russian diplomatic mission, such historical dates remind of the heavy losses of all the peoples involved, and are also a warning to future generations, whose task is to prevent the mistakes of the past from repeating. Antonov urged to protect memorials dedicated to events and outstanding figures of the Second World War, as well as to encourage in every possible way a respectful attitude towards those who gave their lives for peace and freedom.
“Today, the common task is to fight for peace and security against the germs of the brown plague, which have thrived in Ukraine and in a number of European countries. Against any attempt to justify the Nazi criminals and their accomplices. One can live and strengthen the defense of the motherland only by remembering the lessons of history,” the ambassador said.
The “Spirit of the Elbe” memorial at the Arlington National Cemetery near Washington was opened in April 1995 in honor of the meeting of the USSR and US troops, which took place near the city of Torgau on the Elbe on April 25, 1945. This event became the highest point of the allied relations of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition.
In 2022, the US authorities canceled the traditional commemorative ceremony as a sanction against Russia for its special operation to protect the civilian population of Donbass.
The special operation to protect Donbass, which Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24, 2022, continues. The decision was made against the background of the aggravation of the situation in the region due to shelling by the Ukrainian military.