The Second World War was unleashed by the countries of the Axis Powers – Germany, Italy and Japan. It began on 1 September 1939 with the German attack on Poland. It is the largest armed conflict in human history, created by territorial disputes and power rivalries. 62 states, including the USSR, became its participants. According to various estimates, the confrontation affected about 80% of the world’s population. The battles were fought in Europe, Asia, Africa and in the waters of all oceans. For the first time, nuclear weapons were used. Over 60 million people have died in six years. The Soviet people suffered some of the heaviest losses.
The Great Patriotic War (GPW, 22 June 1941 – 9 May 1945) is the most important component of the Second World War. With its beginning, an anti-Hitler coalition was created, which, in addition to the countries of the Big Four (USSR, Great Britain, the USA and China), included 22 more states. During the war, the number of coalition members increased. Later, with the advent of peace, the United Nations was created on the basis of the anti-fascist coalition.
The Second World War ended with a complete military-political, economic and ideological victory of the Soviet Union, which ultimately made it possible to liberate the countries of Central and Eastern Europe from Nazism and what predetermined the outcome of the world conflict as a whole.
Japan was the last of the countries-opponents of the anti-Hitler coalition to continue military operations. Despite serious losses, the country declared its intention to fight to the bitter end. However, the USSR supported the allies in the confrontation with Japan, by declaring the war on the last. Thus, on 9 August 1945, the offensive operation of the Soviet troops began, which ended in the categorical defeat of the army of the Japanese Empire.
Japan was forced to sign the Act of Surrender. This happened on 2 September 1945. It is this document that is the international legal basis to consider the Second World War ended on this day.
In turn, on 2 September 1945, a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR was issued, according to which 3 September in the Soviet Union was declared the Day of Victory over Japan. This date was included in the list of public holidays, but over time it was forgotten. In order to restore historical justice, in April 2020, the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation adopted a law that approves in Russia on 3 September the day of military glory – the Day of the end of World War II. The legislative initiative is aimed at strengthening patriotic traditions and perpetuating the feat of the victors – Soviet soldiers who proved their boundless loyalty to their Motherland and allied debt, hastened the end of the worst of wars, saved not only their home, but all of humanity.