On February 2, communists and several anti-fascist groups across the world organized events to mark the 80th anniversary of the victory of the Soviet forces over German Nazis at the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II. Under the auspices of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), major commemorative events were held in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad), Moscow, and other major cities of Russia.
The Battle of Stalingrad (August 23,1942-February 2, 1943) was among the bloodiest episodes of World War II, fought between the invading forces of Nazi Germany and the Red Army and partisans of the Soviet Union. In the historic battle, which resulted in the deaths of over two million people, the Soviet Army prevailed, forcing the Nazis to surrender. This marked the beginning of the Nazi retreat and defeat in World War II.
For this year’s commemoration of the victory at Stalingrad, Gennady Zyuganov from the CPRF leadership demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin to return the heroic city to its true name—Stalingrad.
The name of the city—the administrative capital of the Volgograd Oblast, on the western bank of the Volga river—was changed to Volgograd in 1961. In 2013, the Volgograd City Duma decided to honorarily return the name to Stalingrad on nine days a year—February 2 and 23; May 8 and 9; June 22; August 23; September 2; November 19; and December 9, marking major victories of the Soviet Union and the working class.
“The victory at Stalingrad was the beginning of the transformation of the Soviet country into one of the two greatest world powers. This was confirmed by the complete defeat of the fascists in the Oryol-Kursk arc and the further liberation of Europe and the whole world from fascism,” Zyuganov said.
“In my opinion, it is time for Putin to return to the hero city its true historical name—Stalingrad. I believe this step is of fundamental importance. Because the world knows Stalingrad. The whole planet highly appreciated the victory of the Red Army. Our task is to restore this historical truth,” he added.
The general secretary of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), Rob Griffiths, said that “the working class and peoples of Britain celebrated joyously when the Russian people and the Soviet Red Army prevailed, because they knew this would be a turning point in the international struggle against the Nazis and fascism.”
“So it was—and this should never be forgotten, whatever our views on the Ukraine war today.”
CPRF’s Roman Kononenko told Peoples Dispatch on February 3, “the victory in the Battle of Stalingrad destroyed Hitler’s dreams to wipe out the city bearing the name of the leader of the Soviet Union—Stalin—from the face of the Earth. Nazi Germany’s Army Group B failed to capture the city, cut off our country from the strategically important oil and gas fields in the Caucasus, and take control of the agrarian breadbasket of Soviet Russia. All this became possible thanks to the steadfastness, courage, heroism, true valor, and patriotism of the Soviet people and the soldiers of the Red Army.”
“Thanks to the courage and selflessness shown by the Soviet people in those harsh years, today we have the opportunity to live, study, and work. The victory at Stalingrad has been forever inscribed in world history and the history of Russia, and the sacrifices of Soviet soldiers, officers, and civilians will remain in our hearts forever!” he added.