Russia says D-Day memorials are part of a 'false' history of World War II meant to airbrush out the Soviet UnionBreaking News
tags: World War II, Russia, D-Day, D-Day 75
Ahead of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of France, Russia's foreign minister has written an article arguing that the commemorations of the event are part of a "false" history that belittles the contributions of the Soviet Union toward defeating Nazi Germany.
Sergey Lavrov chastised Western powers in an article published in Russia's International Affairs magazine on Tuesday, ahead of events in Europe to mark the D-Day landings which helped change the course of World War II.
"False interpretations of history are being introduced into the Western education system with mystifications and pseudo-historical theories designed to belittle the feat of our ancestors," Lavrov wrote.
"Young people are being told that the main credit in victory over Nazism and liberation of Europe goes not to the Soviet troops, but to the West due to the landing in Normandy, which took place less than a year before Nazism was defeated."
"It was the peoples of the Soviet Union who broke the backbone of the Third Reich. That is a fact."
More than 150,000 soldiers from the US, UK, and Canada took part in D-Day on June 6, 1944. Just under a year later, on May 7, 1945, the German High Command surrendered in Berlin.
By June 1944, Russia had mostly turned back the Nazi forces which first invaded in 1941, and began pursuing them west towards Berlin.
The D-Day landings intensified pressure on Hitler's war machine by forcing the Nazis to fight on two fronts.
The Nazis were pushed back in both directions at once, and Russian and Allied forces reached Berlin at similar times.
The Nazis ultimately surrendered twice, once to the allied forces in Berlin, and a second time to Russia.
Until 1941, the Soviets had an alliance with Nazi Germany, and had agreed to share Eastern Europe — a deal on which Germany ultimately reneged.
Historians agree that the Soviets sustained the heaviest losses of all powers involved in World War II, placing the death toll for the Red Army at between 9 million and 11 million troops, part of a total 26 million Soviet citizens who died.