to Review War Results Are
Doomed to Failure – Putin
(RIA Novosti) – Vladimir Putin thanked for New Year greetings
Vasily Kononov, a veteran of the Great Patriotic War against German
Nazism (1941-45), residing in the Latvian Republic.
press-service reported that the Russian head of state writes in
particular: "2005 is a special year: we will be marking the
60th anniversary of the Great Victory. The victory over Nazism
was won at the price of millions of lives, by courage and heroism
of the generation of front-line fighters. This feat will for ever
remain in the memory of grateful mankind, and no one has the right
to blacken or denigrate it. It is my belief that all attempts
to review the results of the Second World War, exonerate the real
criminals, and slander the victorious heroes are doomed to failure.
staunchly defend not only your honest name, but also historical
justice, the honour of combat comrades. In your courageous and
righteous struggle you will be further given all the necessary
wish you and your near ones a happy New Year. I wish you good
health, successes, prosperity and all the best."
Kononov, born in Latvia, was arrested in 1998 and was under custody
until 2000, when a court sentenced him to eighteen-month imprisonment.
Right after the declaration of the sentence, Kononov was released,
because he had served the required time. On the same day, a decree
by the Russian president granted him Russian citizenship. But
he did not go to Russia, remaining in his homeland – Latvia.
authorities accuse Kononov of conducting a guerilla operation
in 1944 in the village of Maliye Baty to destroy nine Polizei,
accomplices of Hitlerites. Kononov asserted that because of them
the Hitlerites had destroyed a guerilla group.
In 2001, the
former anti-fascist partisan was found by Latvian authorities
guilty of committing war crimes and sentenced to six years of
prison. Kononov appealed the sentence, and the case was sent for
additional investigation to the Prosecutor-General’s Office. Kononov
was released for health reasons.
In 2003, the
"Kononov case" was examined at the Latgalian district
court. It recategorised the charge as banditry and found the former
partisan guilty, but freed him from punishment in view of the
expiration of the period of limitation.
was appealed by the prosecutor, and in May 2004 the case by way
of appeal was considered by the Supreme Court of Latvia, which
found Kononov guilty of war crimes and sentenced him to a prison
term of one year and eight months.
Putin Delivered His New Year’s
Address to the Citizens of Russia
January 1 (RIA Novosti) — Vladimir Putin delivered his new year’s
address to the citizens of the country. Follows the full text
of the address of the head of the state:
In a few minutes,
the Kremlin chimes will herald the beginning of the New Year,
2005. And the outgoing year will become part of Russian history.
No doubt, the fate of every one of us was reflected in it, as
were the achievements of the entire Russian nation. New projects
and approaches to solving pressing tasks of the state emerged.
We took serious
steps to make the authorities more effective, more open to society
and more accountable to it. The economic and defence potential
was strengthened, and the country’s capabilities increased. We
are now investing more in education and science. Programmes have
been drawn up to construct affordable housing, and improve the
quality of health care. All our priorities are focused on people’s
intellectual and spiritual development. The main task, the principal
internal force of Russia’s development is to realise each person’s
capabilities and improve the life of the nation.
I have to
say that the outgoing year also witnessed dramatic events in the
life of our nation. Even today, on New Year’s night, we must remember
year 2005 is a special one for us – it is the year of the 60th
anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War. It is a great
holiday for us. For all people with whom we are linked by a common
fate, I would say, by historical kinship.
the New Year, 2005, we revert to an old Russian tradition – a
tradition of long New Year’s holidays. Let them be radiant and
memorable. Let them be filled with heartfelt warmth and cordiality.
On New Year’s
night we always try to be with our near and dear ones. We are
particularly attentive to our parents, readily share our joy with
friends and wish happiness to our children. And, of course, we
think about the future.
personal plans we may conceive, each of us knows that they are
directly connected with the welfare and successes of our Russia.
May your homes
be filled with the festive spirit!
I wish you
happiness, peace, kindness and love!
Year, dear friends!