OPINION: St. George Ribbon Event Commemorates Soviet Valor

BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 29 (RIA Novosti) – The international St. George Ribbon campaign serves to remind Soviet allies of their victory in World War II, said Boris Voronin, the head of the Russian community in Azerbaijan.

“Less than 2,000 World War II veterans remain in Azerbaijan, and the St. George Ribbon event is a memory of that war and a tribute to the feats of valor performed by millions of Soviet people,” Voronin said Tuesday during a video conference that linked up Azerbaijan, Moldova, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Russia.

Voronin said that Azerbaijan had always revered the memory of World War II and the state regularly provides assistance to surviving war veterans. Special benefits for those who survived the war against German invaders were ordered by the late Azeri President Heydar Aliyev and his successor Ilham Aliyev, the chief of the Russian community said.

Azerbaijan has run the St. George Ribbon campaign since 2007. It traditionally unites all local ethnic communities – Tatars, Lezgians, Kazakhs – and youth organizations. “Our citizens treat this event with extraordinary respect,” Voronin added.

The first annual St George’s Ribbon took place in 2005. Since then, on the eve of Victory Day, people would pin black-and-orange ribbons to their clothes and cars to commemorate the Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War as a sign of eternal gratitude to the veterans who saved the world from Nazism.

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