Russia Will Always Remember India's Contribution in Great Patriotic War to Defeat Nazis, Says Envoy
Russia celebrates Victory Day each year on 9 May, commemorating the Soviet Union’s triumph over Nazi Germany during the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945). More than 27 million Soviet people lost their life during the war.
Russia's ambassador to New Delhi, Denis Alipov, on Monday expressed his gratitude to the people of India, saying Russia will “always remember” how they contributed to the defeat of Nazi Germany.
The ambassador recalled the friendship societies Indians set up to support the USSR in the early part of the Great Patriotic War.
“Brave Indian contingents were engaged in providing supplies to the Red Army through Persia. In 1944, two sons of India were decorated with the highest military award of the Soviet Union – the Order of the Red Star,” Alipov said in his Victory Day message.
Indian soldiers were part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in the Animal Transport Company. Four of these companies with mules were part of the Royal Indian Army Service Corps (RIASC) which played an important role in rescuing allied forces from the Dunkirk beach in France and thus changing the course of history.
Russia unveiled a memorial monument at the premises of the Indian Army Headquarters in New Delhi in 2021 to commemorate the “heroic deeds” performed by the Indian forces.
“It became one of the symbols of the historically strong bonds of friendship between our nations, which form a solid base for the Russian-Indian special and privileged strategic partnership,” the ambassador added.
Russia’s top diplomat in India also made veiled remarks against the West, urging countries to “stay united against double standards, hypocrisy in international relations and hidden geopolitical agendas.”
His Victory Day remarks come against the background of a special military operation announced by President Vladimir Putin to de-Nazify and demilitarise Ukraine. Despite a close strategic partnership with the US and Europe, India refused to follow western sanctions against Russia over the military operation, saying it would put its national interests first.
India and Russia are negotiating a payment mechanism for bilateral trade to prevent western sanctions having any adverse effects on their financial institutions.