RPT - Young Russian Americans To Congratulate US, Soviet Veterans On V-E Day - Activist

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd May, 2022) The US-based activist group Russian Youth of America (RYA) will congratulate Soviet veterans living in the United States and their US comrades-in-arms on the 77th anniversary of the Victory in Europe in World War II, RYA President Igor Kochan told Sputnik.

"We are going to visit about 70 Soviet and American veterans in the New York City area. We are giving them little gifts - something that they typically prefer, some sweets, candies, a bottle of champagne, and anything that we could get," Kochan said.

The RYA president explained that V-E Day - celebrated in the United States on May 8 - is not a holiday during which many Americans come out to congratulate US veterans.

"We are trying not to forget any of them," Kochan said. "We ask people to buy something, bring it all together and we distribute it between the veterans."

The Russian activists are sure that this is our common duty to remember those who fought against Nazism and won in World War II. Besides veterans, they are visiting people who were born during the war or survived in the 900-day siege of Leningrad in 1941-1944.

"They had do a lot for us, they fought for us, because of them we are basically still alive, and this is our honor not to forget them and to congratulate them with the Great Victory Day," Kochan acknowledged, adding that members of the community try to maintain contacts with them not only before V-E Day but throughout the whole year as well.

Veterans are very happy to host young visitors for a cup of tea or give then small gifts like chocolate.

Asked about the importance of holding this tradition amid the current difficult relations between the United States and Russia, Kochan said it is always important to remember the price Americans and Russians jointly paid to establish peace in the world and that fact is especially important today.

"If not for that victory, we would not have a future," he added.

On May 8, 1945, the commanders of Nazi Germany's armed forces signed the instrument of surrender, admitting defeat in World War II. This day is celebrated in many countries and referred to as Victory Day. Due to the difference in time zones, Russia and several other former Soviet republics celebrate it on May 9.