Russia’s Presidential Council for Human Rights (SPCh) has challenged a move by lawmakers to mark the end of World War II on September 3 instead of the internationally recognized date — September 2
SPCh chief Valery Fadeyev has asked Valentina Matviyenko, the chairwoman of the parliament’s upper chamber, the Federation Council, to reject a bill adopted by the lower chamber, the State Duma. Fadayev said that September 3 was already marked in the country as the Day of Solidarity in the Fight against Terrorism to honor hundreds of victims of 2004 Beslan school siege.
In its statement, the SPCh called the bill “a mistake.”
“In our mind, decisions on marking memorial days must unite, not divide people. Moving the Day of Military Glory from September 2 to September 3 will not be understood by relatives of those killed in that monstrous terrorist act [in Beslan],” the statement said.
The end of the World War II is internationally accepted as September 2, 1945.
The bill approved by the State Duma says that September 3 must be marked as the day of the end of World War II in Russia as on that day in 1945, forces from the former Soviet Union defeated Japanese troops as “a decisive contribution to end” the war.
The Day of Solidarity in the Fight against Terrorism to commemorate Beslan victims has been commemorated in Russia on September 3 since 2005.
On September 1, 2004, some three dozen Chechen militants took more than 1,200 people hostage at a school in Beslan, North Ossetia.
Two days later, Russian forces stormed the school and 334 people, including 186 children, were killed in the violence.