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Zelensky signs law making May 8 Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism

by Dinara Khalilova June 12, 2023 4:27 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky during a press briefing in Kyiv on June 2, 2023. (Photo: President's Office)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a law making May 8 the Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in World War II.

Previously, Ukraine celebrated victory against Nazi Germany on May 9, like Russia. In 2015, then-president Petro Poroshenko changed the holiday's name to the Day of Victory over Nazism in World War II as opposed to Victory Day used by Moscow. He designated May 8 as the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation.

When the newly signed law enters into force, May 8 will also become a public holiday in Ukraine. Previously, May 8 was a working day, and May 9 remained a national holiday.

Zelensky submitted the law's draft to the Ukrainian parliament on May 8, 2023.

"This is pure history, without ideological admixtures. And this is the history of our people, our allies, the entire free world. Today we return it to our state," Zelensky said after proposing the move.

On the same day, he signed a decree to make May 9 the Europe Day, held annually in the EU member countries to celebrate "peace and unity in Europe."

Most European nations celebrate Victory in Europe Day on May 8 to mark the anniversary of Germany's unconditional surrender coming into force.

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