Remembrance Day Of Victims Of The Great Patriotic War

Remembrance Day of Victims of the Great Patriotic War is a holiday that is observed annually on June 22nd in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. Also known as the Day of Remembrance and Sorrow in Russia, this holiday honors the anniversary of Operation Barbarossa.

This operation was an Axis invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II. This holiday has been observed since June 1996 and is known in Ukraine as the Day of Mourning and Commemoration of the Memory of the Victims of the War. In Belarus, this holiday is observed in Brest at the Hero Fortress.

The History of Remembrance Day of Victims of the Great Patriotic War

On Sunday, June 22, 1941, Axis forces invaded the Soviet Union to put into effect the Nazis’ goal of conquering the Western Soviet Union so that it could be repopulated with Germans. Axis forces used over 3.8 million personnel, and thousands of artillery pieces, tanks, planes, and mortars against a Soviet frontline strength of 2.9 million, 11,000 tanks, and 9,000 aircraft. During the invasion, over 4.9 million Soviets ended up losing their lives.

The German occupation of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR), a country that is now known as Belarus, also began on this date and resulted in the country becoming part of the Reichskommissariat Ostland. German activity in Byelorussia resulted in approximately 1.6 million civilian deaths, including the half-million Jews taken from the country and murdered in German concentration camps.

Observing Remembrance Day of Victims of the Great Patriotic War

Many of the celebrations in Belarus take place at Brest Fortress, one of the most important and symbolic places in the entire country. This fortress was created in the 19th century and became a key symbol of Soviet resistance against the Axis Powers during WWII.

Brest Fortress was built in the 1830s-1840s at the confluence of the Bug and Mukhavyets rivers. However, celebrations at this fortress are not the only ones in the country, as this holiday is observed throughout Belarus.

Where is it celebrated?
Belarus (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
June 22 Saturday
Next year (2025)
June 22 Sunday
Last year (2023)
June 22 Thursday