PRAGUE (Sputnik) — Not to attend the May 9 Victory celebrations in Moscow would mean to offend the memory of 150,000 Soviet soldiers who died fighting for the liberation of Czechoslovakia, Czech President Milos Zeman said in an interview with ParlamentskeListy news outlet, published Sunday.
“To ignore Moscow celebration of 70th anniversary of Victory over fascism on May 9 means to offend the memory of 150,000 Soviet soldiers who died liberating Czechoslovakia,” Zeman said, commenting on suggestions voiced by several Czech public figures to avoid coming to Moscow in the light of the current situation in Ukraine.
Early in January, Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told RIA Novosti that Czech President accepted the invitation to visit Russian capital in May to take part in the celebrations.
Russia is holding its annual Victory Day parade on May 9. More than 20 heads of states have already confirmed their intent to come to Moscow and join Russians in the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Second World War.
This year Russia will also hold a number of joint commemorative events with China.
The German occupation of Czechoslovakia lasted from March 1939 and until the end of World War II with Soviet forces liberating most of its territory. Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on January 1, 1993.