In Russia, the Great Patriotic War is the war between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, which lasted from the German invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941 until Germany signed its unconditional surrender on May 9 1945. This title comes from a radio address made by Joseph Stalin to the Soviet people on July 3, 1941, when the leader of the Soviet Union called on the entire nation to fight the invaders. Beyond the boundaries of the former Soviet Union, however, the Great Patriotic War is generally known as the Eastern Front of World War II. The Russians and other former Soviet peoples retain this title – the Great Patriotic War – because for them the war was a battle for the freedom and independence of their Motherland, a war for their very existence.

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