Without a declaration of war, early June 22, 1941, more than three million Germans and their allies crossed the border to invade the Soviet Union, in what fascist strategists called Operation Barbarossa, the plan that sought to devastate the country in a short time.
The World War II began in September 1939 with the invasion from Berlin to Poland, and henceforth to occupy other European territories. Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and France were taken. Only the United Kingdom escaped from the Nazi rule.
During the war, the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) suffered losses of more than 27 million people, the destruction of more than 1,710 cities, 70,000 villages and towns, as well as incalculable damages to industry and agriculture.
In his Victory Day speech on May 9, President Vladimir Putin described June 22, 1941, as one of the most tragic dates in Russian history.