Today, Ukraine will celebrate Europe Day, as Vladimir Putin’s murderous regime holds military parades on Russia's Victory Day.
May 9 marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration in 1950, widely seen as the beginning of what is now the European Union. President Volodymyr Zelensky called the declaration an “ambitious plan to secure long-term peace in post-war Europe”. "Now, just like 80 years ago, we rely on the joint strength of free peoples and know that together we will always be part of a free Europe that will not submit to evil,” he said. “Together with all of free Europe, we will celebrate Europe Day on May 9 in Ukraine. A united Europe, which should be and will be based on peace. Our Europe, which Ukraine has always been, is and will be a part of.”
As he spoke, Ukraine’s entry into the Eurovision song contest, electronic duo Tvorchi, arrived in Liverpool, which is hosting the event on behalf of Ukraine for the obvious reason that Russian bombs continue to rain down indiscriminately on towns and cities. Andrii Hutsuliak, of the band, said: “We have this war and this feeling that we are not safe. You don't know which minute the missile will strike you or your friends. We just want to show by our example that we are united, we are strong...”
Putin will hope his Victory Day celebrations, marking the defeat of Nazi Germany, will rally the Russian people to his side even as he continues to wage his own war of conquest. The peaceful ambitions remembered by Europe Day and the normally joyful Eurovision contest both provide an eloquent response.