Earlier in the day, an ICM Research poll conducted exclusively for Sputnik revealed that 13 percent of Europeans polled recognize the crucial role played by the Red Army in liberating Europe from Nazism in 1945.
“People who know their history cannot underestimate the Soviet Union's enormous contribution to the defeat of the Third Reich, and so they do not. They might withhold their admitting this fact for political or ideological reasons, but they do know the truth,” Eugene Kasevin said.
Kasevin added that most people he knows in Britain “are very comfortable with the truth and do not hide their knowledge in that it was the Soviet Army that ripped the guts out of Nazi Germany.”
In 2009, during a ceremony commemorating the 65th anniversary of the allied troops landing in Normandy, US President Barack Obama highlighted the Soviet Union’s role in liberating Europe, stressing that the Soviet Union had sustained “some of the war’s heaviest casualties on the Eastern front.” According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Soviet Union lost some 27 million civilians and troops in the war.
On May 9, Russia is holding its annual Victory Day parade dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany.
Some 26 state leaders have confirmed their intention to visit Moscow and join the celebrations.
US President Barack Obama, European Council President Donald Tusk, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron have declined Moscow's invitation to attend Victory Day. The move reflects recent tensions between the West and Russia amid the conflict in eastern Ukraine and allegations of Moscow's involvement in the region's affairs.