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Europeans Underestimate Soviet Army’s Role in WWII Victory Over Nazism

Only 13 percent of Europeans think that the Soviet Army played a key role in liberating Europe from Nazism during World War II, according to ICM Research poll conducted exclusively for Sputnik news agency.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — ICM Research questioned over 3,000 people in Germany, the United Kingdom, and France. Interviews were conducted from March 20 to April 9, 2015.

In Germany, 17 percent of respondents said that the Soviet army played a major role in the victory, while in France only 8 percent shared the same opinion.

The largest group of respondents, 43 percent, said that the United States Army played the main role in liberating Europe during WWII. Sixty-one percent of French citizens agreed, comparing with only 16 percent of British residents.

In the past months, a biased interpretation of WWII events has been detailed in Western media and by several politicians, triggering a wave of criticism in Russia.

In January, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that Kiev “remembers about the Soviet invasion in Ukraine and Germany.” In response, head of the foreign affairs committee in the lower house of Russia’s parliament, Alexei Pushkov, said that this statement insulted the memory of those killed during the war.

In the same month, the Polish foreign minister dismissed Russia’s role in the Soviet Army liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, claiming that the camp was liberated by Ukrainians. Moscow said the statement was “nonsense.”

In reality, on January 27, 1945, the Soviet Red Army, consisting of Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Armenian and other soldiers from the Soviet Union, liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

WWII lasted from 1939 to 1945 and engulfed over 80 countries and regions. Up to 70 million people are believed to have died in the conflict. The Soviet Union has lost about 27 million people.


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