WVF President Visits Russia and Crimea

The WVF President took part in the International Conference dedicated to the 75th Anniversary of  the  Liberation of Crimea and  the Hero city of Sevastopol on 24-29 April 2019

At the invitation of the President of the Russian Union of Veterans , Army General M. Mooiseev, the WVF President took part in the International Conference dedicated to the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Crimea and the Hero city of Sevastopol. The conference was arranged by the Russian Union of Veterans, member of the WVF since 1989. The Union has over 6 million members and is located in Moscow: http://soyuzveteranov.ru/.

After arriving in Moscow on 24 April the WVF President had meetings with delegations from other countries to brief them on the latest news in WVF. Later in the evening an unofficial dinner was held at the hotel in Moscow by the Secretary General of the Union, Gen. V. Ivanovich.

The next day, the delegates travel led from Moscow to Sevastopol and Crimea in the early morning. When they arrived at the hotel, they had a “get together dinner” with local veterans. The President had time for fruitful meetings with delegates from more than 20 countries.

On 26 April the Conference began with a wreath laying ceremony in the centre of Sevastopol to honour the victims from 1944. Delegates, members of the Black Sea Fleet and many local veterans, who also participated in the liberation of Crimea in 1944, attended the ceremony.

The International Conference dedicated to the 75th Anniversary of liberation of Crimea and the Hero city of Sevastopol included the history of the Battle of Crimea which took place from the 8th April to 14th May, 75 years ago. The President of the Russian Union of Veterans formed us that the battle took the lives of more than 95 000 men and injured more than 105 000.

Later, all delegates introduced their view of that battle and their concern over the spread of fascist movements in Europe. The WVF President presented the mission of WVF and stressed that we have to learn from history and that at the WVF we work with a non-political view for veterans.

The WVF was also regularly in the news and stated “We, the veterans, must take on the responsibility in the name of creating peace and security across the borders. Communication and understanding are some of the best tools to get results!”

The delegates agreed that we, the veterans, must take more responsibility to protect our freedom.

“We raise the alarm in defense of democracy and freedoms; well aware of our strength, we urge to support the forces that unambiguously oppose all neofascist, neo-nazi, racist and nationalist movements”.

The conference ended with a fantastic show from the Black Sea Ensemble. In the evening the President of the Union invited all delegates to a dinner with entertainment at the Officers Club.

The WVF President also decorated the President of the Russian Union of Veterans with the WVF Medallion for his long time service for veterans.

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The following morning the delegates were invited to a wreath laying ceremony at sea where the first Nazi bomb was dropped in the battle. For the citizens of Sevastopol it is a very important place in their history.

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After a guided tour in the harbour of Sevastopol, by invitation of the Admiral of the Black Sea Fleet, the delegates were invited to take a coffee break on the ship “MOSCOW”.

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In the afternoon the delegates were invited to a wreath laying ceremony on the hill where the battle of Sevastopol took place 75 years ago.

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On Sevastopol Hill, they also visited the museum with pictures, film and sound from that battle. It was very impressive.

In the evening a farewell dinner for all delegates and the local host was held at a Veterans Club. Every delegation was very satisfied and gifts were exchanged. Col. D. Babiychuk, also alternative member of the WVF Finance Committee, was awarded the WVF Veteran Support Medal in gold for his support to WVF.

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The delegation then travelled back to Moscow where a meeting was held in the HQ Office of the Russian Union of Veterans.

After a presentation of the Union, their museum and their office, the union decided to give more support to the WVF, getting their membership dues in order, and to participate more actively in the world veterans community.

Thanks to Army General M. Mooiseev and his team from the Russian Union of Veterans for the invitation and for their hospitality.