Russia - Ghana relations/

PRESS RELEASE
Russian Embassy in the Republic of Ghana
P.O.Box 1634, 856/1, 13th Lane, Ring Road East, Accra, Ghana,
Tel: 775611, Fax: 772699


"PEOPLE WHO WON THE WAR"
Photo-Exhibition Opens in Accra, Ghana
18-04-2005

On April 18 the opening ceremony of the photo-exhibition "People Who Won the War", devoted to the 60-th anniversary of the Victory over Nazism, took place in Accra. It was organized by the Embassy of the Russian Federation on the basis of the premises of the University of Ghana, Legon.

Those attending the ceremony were officials from the Ghanaian Foreign and Defence Ministries, members of the diplomatic corps, University officials, journalists and numerous representatives of the students and local public.

The photo exhibition is organized on the basis of 50 RIA Novosti black-and-white photographs of 1941-1945 from the archives of the Soviet Information Bureau (Sovinformburo). Moreover the photographs of the Red Army High Command at that time as well as photographs of Heroes of the Soviet Union are also placed in the photo-exhibition. The posters of the Great Patriotic war and pictures of the Awards of the Great Patriotic war are also presented to public.

The photo-exhibition will last until April 30, 2005 and then will be presented to the Library of the University of Ghana, Legon.

H.E.Mr.V.Orlov, Russian Ambassador, speaking on the opening ceremony, told guests that this photo-exhibition was one of the functions devoted the memory of veterans and victims of the Great Patriotic war organized by Russian Embassies not only in Ghana but all over the world. He told that the 60-th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic war was an enormous historic event in the life not only of the Russian people but of mankind as a whole, because this war was the largest catastrophe in the history of mankind, and the greatest lesson for current and future generations. He informed the audience that it was the most bloody phase of the Second World War, with its litany of catastrophes that divided the twentieth century into a before and after - before and after the war. "The memory of those terrible war years will remain forever as an undying national sorrow etched into the hearts of all those living together in our united country, all those who have had more than their share of grief, who traversed all the hardships of the war and did not simply survive but stood firm and emerged victorious", - said Russian Ambassador.

Mr.Orlov informed those attending the ceremony that more than twenty-seven million dead during the war - no other country paid such a high price or 14 percent of the country's population. The Soviet Union accounts for almost half of the casualties of all the warring states. Every fourth warrior who died on the battle fields of the Second World War was a Soviet soldier. The Nazis lost some 70 percent of their servicemen and combat equipment at the Soviet-German front. Casualties were the heaviest on both sides in 1941 and 1943. Historians say that on the average 8,000 Soviet soldiers died daily at the Soviet-German front at that time. In addition a million Soviet men and officers died in the battles for the liberation of Europe. Two thirds of those who died on the battle fields are young men from 19 to 35.

He also noted that the Second World War brought people of different nationalities and religions together in the common fight. Representatives of different countries, different political views and convictions, joined forces in the face of a common threat. "Today, 60 years on, we can fully appreciate the success of the anti-fascist coalition and see once again the danger of new threats emerging", - Ambassador underlined.

Concluding his speech Mr.Orlov marked that the importance of the victory over fascism, the importance of the Soviet Union in this victory, cannot be disputed. According to him, some pseudo-researchers, and strangely enough even in Russia still attempt to cast doubt on the importance of the Soviet Union's contribution to the war on fascism. He said that it would soon be forgotten, especially as Russian partners, Soviet allies during the Second World War talked about this openly and freely. Mr.Orlov mentioned French President Jacques Chirac that talked about this during the meeting with Russian President in the ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the allied landing in Normandy. Russian Ambassador also noted that according to Mr.V.V.Putin, the US President, in a private conversation, told him directly: "If it hadn't been for Russia, none of this would have happened". "This is the most understandable, simple, honest, open and objective assessment of the events of the Second World War", concluded Mr.Orlov.

PRESS SERVICE OF THE EMBASSY

OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

(PSERF)

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