May 9, or Victory in Europe Day, is one of the biggest celebrations in the post-Soviet sphere, and Ukraine is no exception. In honor of the day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced during VE Day celebrations that he would be launching a new project of memorial symbols, the biggest of which are four memorial bells to be installed in four of Ukraine’s regions. But two of the announced locations are in occupied territory, to be installed following their liberation and return to Ukraine.
“I was in the Luhansk region yesterday, near the first village liberated in ‘42 that began the liberation of all Ukraine. And there’s where the first bell will be installed – the Bell of Memory. Now I’m in the Zakarpattya region, near to where the invaders were finally expelled. Here will be the Bell of Victory,” explained the president in a video address. “We believe in and will be doing everything to make the day possible when we can install two more bells: the Bell of Peace in Donetsk and the Bell of Unity in Simferopol. (a city in occupied Crimea – ed.) And the moment that Ukraine knows peace and we return our people to our land, these four bells will simultaneously ring out this significant event in Ukraine’s history. And each of their beats will instill in our consciousness: ‘Remember that unity is the guarantee of our peace, and our victory.'”