Armenian acting PM Nikol Pashinyan has sent a congratulatory message on the 76th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War.
"This is a great holiday that we are justly proud of. We have always celebrated it, we will continue to celebrate it, because the contribution of the Armenian people to the fight against the evil of the 20th century - fascism, was enormous, and in this struggle the Armenian people suffered huge losses," he noted.
"More than 500 thousand Armenians took part in this destructive war in the armies of the Soviet Union and its allies, 300 thousand Armenians died for the Victory, and 107 were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. All this allows us to assert that the Armenian people, together with other peoples of the Soviet Union, played a decisive role in achieving victory. We have made a significant contribution to saving Europe and all human civilization from a destructive war and freeing it from the clutches of fascism.
During the Great Patriotic War, our army became steeled and reached unprecedented heights, acquiring high professionalism in the field of military art. During the war and subsequent years, thousands of Armenians became officers of the Soviet Army, and many reached the highest levels of military service. We are proud of them and will always keep the memory of them.
And it was the core of this army that subsequently formed the backbone of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia and the Defense Army of the Republic of Artsakh. It was this army, merging with the heroic spirit of our modern hayduks, who liberated Shushi. It was this army and the unshakable will and determination of the Armenian people that decided the outcome of the struggle for the freedom of Artsakh. Unfortunately, Shushi is not with us today.
We mourn its capture, but we also realize that regardless of the fluctuations of fate and current realities, we must celebrate the day of its release. This is one of the glorious pages of our recent history, and it was of great importance for our people. The liberated Shushi was the stronghold of the security of Artsakh. At the same time, he created the factual prerequisites for the state-building of Artsakh, made the struggle for the right of Artsakh Armenians to self-determination irreversible.
Today we commemorate everyone who gave their lives for the liberation of the ancient Armenian city. Today we bow before the defenders of Artsakh, before all our martyrs who fell in the wars unleashed against the Armenian people."
"Our pain is deep, our wounds are incurable, but we also know that their sacrifice was not in vain, they fell to defend their homeland, they died for freedom. We are obliged to preserve their memory and continue their work. We will betray them if today we do not take up the strengthening and development of our Motherland. We will betray their memory if we do not build a strong state that will ensure the revival of Artsakh."