Press Advisories

8. 5. 202218:10

Prime Minister Petr Fiala commemorates WW2 victims along with victims of the Russian aggression in Ukraine on VE Day

Commemorative acts at the National Memorial on the Vítkov Hill and at the Olšany Cemetery in Prague culminated the celebrations of the 77th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. On this occasion, Prime Minister Petr Fiala honoured the memory of the heroes who fought for the freedom of the former Czechoslovakia, but also remembered the victims of the war that Russia is currently waging against Ukraine.

On the occasion of Victory in Europe Day, a commemorative act was traditionally held at the National Memorial on the Vítkov Hill. In addition to Prime Minister Petr Fiala, the ceremony was also attended by President Miloš Zeman, Minister of Defence Jana Černochová, representatives of both chambers of the Czech Parliament, representatives of the Czech Army and other distinguished guests. The Prime Minister also paid tribute to the memory of the Prime Minister of the Protectorate Government, Alois Eliáš, who was executed by the Nazis on 19 June 1942 for his activities in the resistance.

“Today we commemorate Victory in Europe Day and the end of World War II, and of course we think with gratitude of those who fought for our freedom, and we remember with respect those who fell victim to the war, who gave their lives. But this is no ordinary celebration of Victory in Europe Day, when we would simply look with joy that these war events are a thing of the past and that nothing like this can happen to us again,” said Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

“Russia’s aggression against Ukraine reminds us that freedom and independence are not a given. That these are fragile things for which we need to fight. And today we must think not only of the victims of the Second World War, but also of the victims of the war that is taking place in Ukraine at this very moment. And we must be grateful to those who are fighting there, because they are fighting for our freedom and our independence in Kiev, in Mariupol, in Kharkiv, and everywhere else,” Prime Minister Fiala reminded.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala, together with 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Vít Rakušan and Minister of Defence Jana Černochová, also attended a ceremony at the Prague Castle during which President Miloš Zeman appointed new generals on the occasion of the 8 May national holiday.

The Prime Minister paid tribute to the memory of the fallen during the liberation of Prague and the victims of the Prague Uprising, which preceded the liberation of Prague, at the Olšany Cemetery in Prague. Together with other guests of honour, including Ambassador of Ukraine Yevhen Perebyinis, they commemorated the memory of the fallen soldiers of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Front of the Red Army at the Memorial to the Fallen Red Army soldiers, and then moved to the Honorary Burial Ground to commemorate those who fell during the Prague Uprising in May 77 years ago.

“Unfortunately, these days it is not possible to carelessly celebrate when a real war is happening a few hundred kilometres away where many are killed and wounded every day. Therefore, on 8 May this year, we are also commemorating the victims from the ranks of the Ukrainian armed forces and general public at this symbolic place,” the Prime Minister said.