In the Soviet Union, May 9th commemorated the signing in 1945 of the capitulation of Germany, the most important Axis force in World War II, to the Allied forces. In Russia, as before in the Soviet Union, the 9th of May is celebrated as the end of the "Great Patriotic War", the preferred term for the 4-year long German-Russian war. A certain controversy surrounds this holiday: in some other countries (for instance, France and Germany) the 8th of May is considered to be the day of capitulation. This is documented by historic radio announcements of Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin: both said that the capitulation was declared on May 7th and signed on May 8th, in the presence of the highest military officials of the Allied forces, including the Soviet Union. Later, the Soviet Union changed the date to May 9th for somewhat obscure political reasons.