Wikipedia: The term Great Patriotic War (Russian: Великая Отечественная война) is used in Russia and some other states of the former Soviet Union to describe their portion of the Second World War from June 22, 1941, to May 9, 1945, against Nazi Germany and its allies.
The term was coined following the German attack against the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 and was intended to motivate the population to defend the Soviet motherland and to expel the invader. Previously, the term Patriotic War referred to the French invasion of Russia under Napoleon, which is now known as the Patriotic War of 1812. The term denotes a war for the patria – the fatherland.
The term Great Patriotic War appeared in the Soviet newspaper Pravda soon after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, in a long article titled “The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet People” (Velikaya Otechestvennaya voyna sovetskogo naroda).
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