YEREVAN/STEPANAKERT — An air parade above Victory Park in Yerevan marked the 75th anniversary of Victory in World War II. While most public events have been cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic, veterans participated in a March of Honor that preceded the air show.

In the morning, President Armen Sarkissian, Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Alen Simonyan, Minister of Defense David Tonoyan, Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, accompanied by high-ranking officials, clergymen and veterans, paid a visit to the “Mother Armenia” Memorial.

During the ceremony, the flags of 6 Armenian divisions were taken out of the “Mother Armenia” military museum by soldiers of the honor guard of the RA Armed Forces and handed over to World War II veterans. Then the honorary motorcade delivered the veterans to the military airport, where they handed over the flags to the pilots of the Armenian military aviation. Within minutes, combat aircraft of the RA Armed Forces sailed off into the Yerevan sky, symbolizing with this action the eternity of the triumphant spirit and strength of Armenia. Recently acquired Su-30SM fighter jets by Armenian Air Force conducted the flyer-over in Yerevan skies.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the USSR Army’s victory over fascism, a festive day on the former Soviet republics’ calendar symbolizing the defeat over Nazis in the Great Patriotic War.

From 1941 until 1945, the Armenian people had an active participation in the battles, bringing their great contribution to the efforts towards bringing the victory closer. An estimated 600,000 Armenian troops in six separate divisions headed to the front between 1941 and 1945 to fight the Nazi army. Of them, as many as 314 thousands died or went missing.

Armenia gave four marshals (Hovhannes Baghramyan, Sergey Khudyakov/Khamperyants, Hamazasp Babajanyan and Sergey Aghanov) to the Soviet Armed Forces and the Soviet Fleets. Three of them are known to be natives of Artsakh.
As many as 99 Armenians were honored with the Supreme Soviet award for their bravery and courage.

Shushi Liberation Marked in Artsakh
Meanwhile in Artsakh, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, NKR President Bako Sahakyan, President-elect of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan, Second President of the Republic of Artsakh Arkady Ghukasyan, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan, Primate of the Artsakh Diocese Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, a group of high-ranking officials of the Republic of Armenia and Artsakh visited the Stepanakert Memorial, laid wreaths and flowers in memory of the victims of the Great Patriotic War and the tombs of the victims of Artsakh war, as well as at Shushi Tank memorial and the memorial of Sparapet Vazgen Sargsyan.

“Despite this epidemic of coronavirus, I found Artsakh and Stepanakert in a high festive mood,” PM Pashinyan said in a statement.

“We have fully paid off our debt for all the wars in the 20th century. And now we are well aware of the cost of peace more than anyone else. Our identity is best expressed through creative work we do in peacetime. At the same time, knowing the price of peace, we are ready to defend it at all costs and to stand up again for our freedom and dignity, where necessary.

“Whether a coincidence, or perhaps a deed of Providence, on this very day we are celebrating the liberation of Shushi and the establishment of the Artsakh Defense Army, exceptional events that crowned Armenia’s modern history.

“The liberation of Shushi ushered in the liberation of Artsakh. Followed up with a brilliant victory, it became the pledge for our people’s security and peace. We are firmly determined to ensure the security of the people of the Artsakh Republic: their right to self-determination is not subject to bargaining. Both are absolute values for us.

“Let us commemorate and pay tribute to our heroes who died for the liberation of Shushi and Artsakh. They stood just as strong as their ancestors did about half a century ago in World War II.

“Our common national goal is to make May 9 more festive in Artsakh, Armenia and among Armenians in general, to have a more optimistic outlook on the future, to be more confident today, and I am sure that will be the case.” Concluded Pashinyan.

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