Address by the Chairman of the CC CPRF, Head of the CPRF at the State Duma Gennady Zyuganov.
Dear comrades, friends, fellow citizens!
I congratulate you on a truly great holiday, the Day of the Victory of the Soviet People over the German-Fascist invaders!
Seventy-five years ago the salvoes of the bloodiest war in human history fell silent. Long-awaited peace came to the land of Europe. In the sunny month of May of 1945 peace was brought to the planet by the Soviet Liberator Warrior. Our people emerged from the ordeal as victors, the saviors of human civilization from the Nazi plague which was spreading over the world.
The Great Patriotic War lasted 1418 long days and nights. For millions of people it was filled with the trauma of losses and defeats, hardship and suffering, horror and hatred. But also with irrepressible hope that we would prevail and win. The task called for an incredible effort. We were invaded by a monstrous enemy that had created a powerful army of death. Hitler’s Reich drew on the military, technical, and economic potential of the whole of Europe. Added to the armour and the power of money were cynical treachery and the theory of the superiority of the Arian race.
Contrary to all the liars, it was the Soviet Union that bore the brunt of the struggle against the Fascist bloc, the strike force of world imperialism. More than three-fourths of the total number of enemy divisions fought on the Soviet-German front. The most important events took place here. It was our people that was bleeding. It was here that human losses were tragically great. Twenty-seven million Soviet citizens lost their lives. Of the 13 million soldiers Germany lost, 10 million were fighting against the USSR. In spite of the defeats in the early weeks of the war the Red Army and the whole Soviet nation stopped Hitler’s blitzkrieg. Unlike the servile Europe our land did not become a place for Wehrmacht’s triumphal march. The enemy had to pay a bloody price for every metre of territory gained. The invaders failed to capture Moscow, to conquer Leningrad, seize Stalingrad and move its hordes to the Volga. Already at the end of 1941 they had been pushed back from the capital. The Nazi armada suffered its first major defeat in the Second World War.
A year later the USSR reversed the course of the war in the battle of Stalingrad. After the Battle of Oryol and Kursk the Nazis completely lost theit strategic initiative. Having driven out the enemy the Red Army embarked on its liberation mission in Europe. The fierce final battle in Nazim’s lair, Berlin, was crowned with victory. The Red Banner over the Reichstag heralded to the whole world the destruction of the global evil. The sacred war of the Soviet Union against Germany ended with an unconditional capitulation of Germany.
The land of the October Revolution stopped the heavy tread of latter-day crusaders of united Europe. It had the defeated enemies march through the streets of Moscow and tossed the invaders’ banners at the foot of the Lenin Mausoleum. The plans of those who were arrogantly asserting “a new order” in the world and turning to dust and ashes millions of “subhumans” had collapsed. Hitler’s aggression was crushed against the invincible might of the Soviet people, its unbending will and life-asserting faith in the righteousness of Lenin’s cause. The sacrifices brought to the altar of Victory were enormous. Millions of soldiers died on the battlefields. Millions of civilians died from air raids, shelling, and hunger and were tortured to death by the Nazi occupiers. The enemies destroyed 1710 cities and settlements, more than 70,000 villages. Nothing could break the spirit of the Soviet people. Having stood their ground in the most brutal of wars they speedily restored the national economy, built back the devastated cities and villages and put into a space orbit Yuri Gagarin, one of the country’s best sons.
In starting the war the enemy was convinced that it could defeat, dismember and put the Soviet people on its knees and erase our Motherland from history. But the enemy was defeated. And the Red Army soldier became the symbol of invincibility and humanity. The USSR emerged from the crucible a stronger socialist power. Its authority in the world was colossal. The sun of hope for a better life and a just peace shone brighter for the ordinary people across the planet. The community of socialist states was formed. The colonial system collapsed.
The 1945 victory had many causes and sources. Chief of them was the socialist system. The Great October Socialist Revolution carried out by the Bolshevik heroes led by Vladimir Lenin created a special kind of state. It was entirely in the service of the working people and not parasitic capitalists who greedily pursue their interests and sell their country. Working people became full masters of their Fatherland. Led by the Communist Party, they carried out industrialization, turned the USSR into a developed country, equipped agriculture, dramatically raised the cultural level of the amazingly talented people who had long been downtrodden and poverty-stricken. We became a different country within a short space of time. The country was prepared to meet the most formidable of challenges, stand up to any enemy and overcome any misfortunes. The people rose as one man to defend the Soviet Motherland performing feats of valour and dedicated labour. Within a short space of time the socialist system put the economy on a war footing, ensured the unity of the front and the rear, mobilized material and labour resources. By 1942 the USSR was producing more arms than the German Reich.
Thanks to the work of Soviet scientists, designers, and defense industry workers the Red Army got T-34 tanks, Katyusha rocket launchers, Il-2, Yak-7, La-5 planes and other advanced military hardware. In spite of the hardship of the war time, and loss of territories, the Soviet Government ensured an uninterrupted flow of supplies to the front and to the rear. This guaranteed smooth operation of all sectors and saved the country from famine and epidemics. The medical and ambulance service proved to be extremely effective.
Victory commanders G.K.Zhukov, K.K.Rokossovsky, A.M.Vasilevsky, I.S.Konev, R.Ya.Mallinovsky, V.I.Chuikov and a whole galaxy of marshals and generals earned a place in the hall of fame. The leadership of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party headed by Joseph Stalin made a huge contribution to organizing the defence and the defeat of the enemy.
The main credit for the Victory goes to the heroic Soviet people who performed a world historic feat. It was the combined result of the unexampled courage of soldiers, partisans, anti-fascist underground fighters and workers on the home front. The war demonstrated a supreme level of mass mobilization. Socialism ensured a unity of the people and power inconceivable in a society divided into classes.
The All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) performed brilliantly the mission of organizing Victory. The Party of Lenin and Stalin could both fight and create. It proved this by carrying out the socialist revolution, defeating the Intervention and its White Guard accomplices, and implementing spectacular Lenin-Stalin modernization.
Mikhail Sholokhov, the great writer, said: The whole of our great country owes to the Party and to Stalin its power and prosperity.” In 1941, 1.5 million communists joined the bloody battle against Fascism. During the Great Patriotic War communist party membership increased to 5 million. Three million Soviet communists died in the war. One in every two war dead was a member of the Communist Party or the Young Communist League. This fact alone obliterates the mean little “theories” claiming that the people won in spite of the Soviet system. We Communists consider it to be a great honour and great happiness to belong to such a Party.
Seventy-five years ago our fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers upheld the freedom and independence of the Soviet Motherland, ensured clear skies above it, and confidence of tomorrow. We, the heirs to the victorious soldiers, are called upon to defend the truth about the Great Patriotic War and the Great Victory. The forces of evil are at pains to withhold the truth from humanity, to rewrite the results of the war and to carry through Hitler’s hideous plans.
The present situation is complex and worrisome. Accomplices of anti-Soviet and Russophobic forces are active inside Russia too. They dish out dirt on the heroes, besmirch their heroic deeds and deny the contribution of the Communists to the Victory. We will do all we can to expose their slanderous attempts.
Even 75 years on, the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War, the defeat of Japnese militarism and the victorious end of the Second World War continue to exert a profound influence on our world. The historic decisions of “the big three” in Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam, condemnation of the ideology and practices of Fascism in Nuremberg, the verdicts of the Tokyo and Kahabrovsk trials of Japanese war criminals have a direct bearing on current realities. The results of Victory impact international relations and the world economy, the internal policies of states and the life of people in all parts of the world.
The results of the past war are a stern warning to the modern claimants to global dominance. The lessons of the 20th century show convincingly that the attempts of any state to reformat the world in its favour relying on the financial opportunities, military power and modern technology are fraught with colossal risks. They are doomed to failure.
The victories in May and September 1945 drive home the lesson that war must be fought against before it starts. The worsening crisis of capitalism increases the pitch of contradictions, old and new. Concerted actions of the sovereign states, progressive parties and movements and the broad masses of working people are needed to ward off wars and cataclysms and global plans for “a new world order.” Russia, China and all the countries opposing a unipolar world must coordinate their actions more closely.
At this juncture, the situation in the country and the world dictates its own rules. On May 9 we have no opportunity to mark our great holiday in the customary way, to greet our veterans during Victory parade, to hold marches and rallies. But nothing will prevent us from commemorating the heroes and bowing to them. And from pledging to uphold the truth about the sacred war, to battle for justice, for the ideals that inspired the Soviet soldiers as they went over the top to attack the enemy.
“Lenin-Stalin-Victory.” This formula distils the essence of the historic gains of our Soviet Motherland. At the time when the Great Victory is again smeared by Russophobes and anti-Communists, we call on everyone to raise their voice in defence of the historical truth. We call on our compatriots and all the people of good will to join the Immortal Regiment under the Red Banner.
During these days in May we honour the memory of our fathers and grandfathers who saved the world from the Brown Plague. We will congratulate one another and display read banners on our homes. We will take new photographs with portraits of our heroes in their families. We will help veterans who need our care and support.
The CPRF action Lenin-Stalin-Victory will continue throughout the year. It will be our vigil of memory. It is our contribution to the cause of defending the truth and asserting justice.
To be heirs to the victors is not only a great privilege, but also great responsibility. We must perform our mission, move forward, and chart the path towards new pinnacles. Let it be so. May the heroic feats of generations fill our hearts with courage and faith in a better future. May they inspire us in our struggle for human dignity, social progress and socialist transformation of the world.
Congratulations on the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory, comrades.
The Red Banner of great deeds and victories is forever ours.
Chairman, CC CPRF