10:29 GMT14 April 2021
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    World War II veteran Leonid Chernyak warned that people could start rewriting history when no witnesses of the WWII battles remain alive.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Europeans should not forget the Soviet Union's feat of arms in World War II against Nazism, World War II veterans told Sputnik.

    "It is important that while the people who lived during World War II are still alive, the people ask them about those events and find out what was really happening," World War II veteran Leonid Chernyak said.

    He warned that people could start rewriting history when no witnesses of the WWII battles remain alive.

    A poll conducted by ICM Research for Sputnik and released Tuesday showed that 13 percent of Europeans think the Soviet Army played the key role in liberating Europe from Nazism during the World War II.


    What's the main cause of the current misconceptions over WWII?
    • Anti-Russian propaganda and twisting history for the current political agenda
      70.1% (1949)
    • Poor history teaching in the West's schools
      21.8% (607)
    • I don’t think there are any misconceptions
      8.1% (224)
    Voted: 33
    Up to 24 percent of those EU citizens polled failed to say who played the major role in changing the course of the war.

    Chernyak argued that the Soviet Army deserves more recognition.

    World War II veteran Mikhail Alberstein expressed disappointment with the results of the poll.

    "How could they forget," he said. "They were liberated from Fascism."

    Alberstein argued that modern-day European unawareness of Soviet people's role in the war is a result of propaganda.

    "There was propaganda during the Cold War, before it and after," the veteran said. "People create history with their hands, but these wrong ideas are put [in people's minds] by the rulers."

    The Soviet Union World War II casualties exceeded 27 millions, 8.7 million of which soldiers and officers and the remainder citizens behind battle lines. Allied powers, which included the Soviet Union, the United States and Britain, among others, together lost about 14 million people.


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    Nazism, veterans, WWII, Red Army, Soviet Union
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