1. When did the Second World War begin?
September 1, 1939, the Second World War began. It was preceded by the agreement of the leading European states on the division of Czechoslovakia, as well as the agreement between the leaders of Nazi Germany and the Bolshevik Soviet Union – Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. By their consent, the Western Ukrainian lands were part of the Soviet Union. In the annexed territory, the Soviet government introduced the same procedures as in Eastern Ukraine. But peace between Germany and the USSR was fragile.
June 22, 1941 Germany attacked the Soviet Union. The war of the Soviet Union against Germany is known as the Great Patriotic War.
2. How was Ukraine occupied?
Ukraine experienced the blows of the enemy already in the first hours of the war. Our land has become an immediate battlefield. It continued bloody battles that led to terrible destruction and the death of millions of people.
The soldiers and commanders of
the Red Army – the so-called armed forces of the USSR – displayed massive heroism, but were compelled to retreat. From July 11 to September 19, 1941, the heroic defense of Kiev lasted. Then in captivity was more than 600 thousand soldiers and commanders. A year after the outbreak of the war, the entire territory of Ukraine was occupied by German troops and their allies.
Ukrainian invaders sought to turn the land into a supplier of food and raw materials. The “new order” established by the Nazis was brutal. Occupants tortured about 4 million civilians and prisoners of war from Ukraine. In Germany, 2.5 million young men and women were sent for forced labor.
3. How was the liberation of Ukraine?
The liberation of Ukraine from the invaders took place in 1943-44. An important factor in this was the battle for the Dnieper. On November 6, 1943, the troops of the First Ukrainian Front, under the command of General Nikolai Vatutin, liberated Kiev. In December, a general offensive of Soviet troops began in the Right-Bank Ukraine.
An important role in the rout of the occupiers in
the occupied Ukrainian territories was played by the Resistance movement. In the forests of Sumy and the Chernigov region, hundreds of partisan detachments, large partisan units under the command of Sidor Kovpak, Alexei Fedorov, and others operated. A large insurgent self-defense movement developed in Volyn and Polesye. The Ukrainian Insurgent Army was established.
Exemption from the Hitlerite invaders Ukraine is obliged to the Soviet troops. October 28, 1944 the entire territory of Ukraine in the present borders was cleared of Hitler’s troops.
For the liberation of our native land, our people paid an expensive price: more than 6 million Ukrainians fought in the Red Army, of which 3 million were killed. As a whole, about 7 million citizens of Ukraine gave their lives in this war. In the afternoon, when they bow their heads to the liberators, May 9 is Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War, a state holiday in Ukraine.
4. What can the rewards of the Great Patriotic War tell?
To reward the heroism and courage of the defenders of the Motherland in the Great Patriotic War during the war and post-war period, 9 orders and 23 medals were established. The first award, introduced during the Great Patriotic War, was the Order of the Patriotic War. It was founded in 1942. It provided for mass awards for the heroism of Soviet soldiers on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War. The Order of the Patriotic War became the most massive award among the orders of the USSR.
The highest military order of the USSR was the Victory Order. This order was awarded to the senior commanders of the Red Army for the successful conduct of military operations. The Order “Victory” during the Great Patriotic War was awarded to 16 people. One of the most authoritative orders is the Order of Glory І, II and III degrees. This order is called “soldier”, as they were awarded only soldiers, sergeants and foremen. The basis for the award was a personal manifestation of courage and courage.
The Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky was founded in 1943. They were awarded to military commanders of the army and navy, as well as commanders of the partisan movement.