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Descendants of WWII Soviet volunteers to ROC honored by president

Descendants of WWII Soviet volunteers to ROC honored by president

Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou Thursday presented commemorative medals to descendants of two Soviet pilots who joined a volunteer group to the Republic of China that participated in air battles against Japanese and helped train Chinese pilots between 1937 and 1941. Evgeny Opasov, son of pilot Constantin Opasov, and Andrey Matveev, grandson of Nikolai Matveev, are on a week-long visit to Taipei to attend commemorative events marking the 70th anniversary of the victory over Japan. President Ma told the two visitors that in addition to the perseverance of the Chinese people in resisting Japan's aggression, the final victory over Japan should be attributed also to the assistance of allied countries. The aviation volunteer group from the Soviet Union came to China upon the signing of a military technical assistance agreement between the two countries in August 1937, and between 1937 and 1941, the Soviets provided 1,200 aircrafts, over 1,000 air crew and 3,665 ground staff to support the ROC Air Force in training and in battle, according to the president. That chapter of history was buried since the outbreak of the Chinese civil war in the late 1940s and almost forgotten in the following years when the world sunk into the Cold War. Presenting commemoration medals to the descendants of the two volunteer pilots, Ma said that as the Republic of China is commemorating the 70th anniversary of its victory over Japan, the ROC government would like to remind people of the contributions of the Soviet volunteers during the war. (By P.C. Tang and Lillian Lin)


Updated : 2021-09-23 01:56 GMT+08:00