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Ukraine Will Mark Day Of Remembrance And Reconciliation On May 8

Ukraine will mark May 8 as a Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation for those who lost their lives during World War II.

Culture Minister Vyacheslav Kyrylenko told reporters on March 24 that "like all European nations, we will commemorate those who lost their lives during the war," adding that all Ukrainians who fought for Ukraine's independence "deserve honor and remembrance."

Kyrylenko said that May 9 will be marked as Victory Day as usual.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian lawmaker Ivan Krulko told the Interfax news agency that May 8 would remain a working day and May 9 might be turned into a working day as well.

Ukraine's move is a significant shift from traditional celebrations of Victory Day on May 9.

Russia and many other former Soviet republics commemorate the May 9 anniversary with parades and celebrations and have officially declared it a day off from work.

Many Western European countries celebrate the end of World War II on Victory in Europe Day (VE Day), which falls on May 8.

The Kremlin has portrayed the ouster of Moscow-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 as a U.S.-supported coup by fascists, and compares the pro-Western government now in power in Kyiv to Nazis.

Based on reporting by, UNIAN and Interfax