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    International Day of Memory of Victims of Fascism

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    The International Day of Memory of Victims of Fascism, marked every year on the second Sunday of September since 1962, will be honoured this year on September 14.

    MOSCOW, September 14 (RIA Novosti) -The International Day of Memory of Victims of Fascism, marked every year on the second Sunday of September since 1962, will be honoured this year on September 14.

    The date is observed in September since World War II began on September 1, 1939 with the Nazi invasion of Poland and ended on September 2, 1945 with the surrender of the militarist Japan.

    WWII involved 61 states and over 80 percent of the world's population, taking a toll over 55 million people. Hostilities occupied the territories of 40 states and the vast basins of the Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The Soviet Union sustained the biggest losses, some 27 million people, in addition to losses to its armed forces, some 8.7 million people.

    Nearly 70 years have passed since fascism was defeated by a unified effort. Though the social organization brought the world innumerable sufferings and killed millions, some countries are still trying to revise the results of WWII.

    Russia's Foreign Ministry regularly draws the world's attention to the attempts of some former Soviet republics to alter history. Thus, it has repeatedly expressed indignation over the gatherings of veterans of the 20th Estonian SS division. Russia believes that support for such events that facilitate the promotion of fascism and neo-Nazi manifestations is inadmissible in an EU member state.

    For example, Russia's bilateral ties with Latvia are seriously aggravated by the latter's efforts to glorify the former Latvian SS.

    Many politicians and veterans of the Great Patriotic War are critical of the attempts to glorify the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and its leaders in Ukraine.

    Every year, marches are held in Ukraine to honour the formation of the Galichina SS division. The Right Sector, which unites Ukraine's nationalist organizations, operates on its territory. Activists are promoting extremist and nationalist activities through symbols and attributes of organizations that collaborated with fascists during WWII.

    Upon Russia's initiative, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution in 2005 urging an end to the glorification of Nazism each year and in 2013 approved the another resolution on combating practices contributing to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The General Assembly expressed its deep concern over attempts to glorify Nazism, neo-Nazism and former members of the Waffen-SS in any form, including the construction of monuments and the holding of public demonstrations.

    The resolution has expressed concern over the "recurring attempts to desecrate or demolish monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought against Nazism during WWII, as well as to unlawfully exhume or remove the remains of such persons," and noted an alarming increase in racist incidents and violence globally.

    On May 5, 2014, President Vladimir Putin signed a law introducing punishment of up to five years in prison for rehabilitating Nazism, denying the facts established by the Nuremberg Tribunal and disseminating false information about Soviet activities during WWII. Under the law, fines will be issued to those desecrating the days of combat glory and other memorable events in Russia.

    A draft law equating Nazi symbols to those of the organizations that collaborated with the fascists, including the followers of the Stepan Bandera movement, has been submitted to the State Duma. It extends the list of organizations whose public demonstrations, propaganda and symbols entail administrative responsibility.

    Traditionally, public campaigns are held in Russia during the International Day of Memory of Victims of Fascism to commemorate the tens of millions of people who perished in WWII.

    European Union, WWII, fascism, Stepan Bandera, Estonia, Latvia, Vladimir Putin
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