Poland’s president is leading international commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, a gathering meant as an alternative celebration to Moscow’s Red Square parade two days later. President Bronislaw Komorowski organized the commemorations, which are to begin late Thursday in Gdansk, in reaction to the deep divisions
between the West and Russia over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. It was meant to give Western leaders who want to avoid the Russian ceremonies a chance to pay homage to the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. In the end, however, few leaders have agreed to come. The guest list, however, does include UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, European Council President Donald Tusk and several presidents from Central Europe.