On May 9th, Russia celebrated the 78th anniversary of the Victory Day parade at Red Square in Moscow. This day marks the historic victory of the Soviet Union in 1945 over Nazi Germany during World War II, also known as the Great Patriotic War. More than 10,000 people and 125 pieces of weaponry were showcased in this year’s parade, which was overseen by the Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu.
The celebrations this year were noticeably smaller, possibly due to security concerns arising from recent reports of unsuccessful drone attacks aimed at assassinating Russian President Vladimir Putin within Russia.
History of Russia’s Victory Day
- Victory Day in Russia marks the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, also known as the Great Patriotic War.
- The war lasted from 1941 to 1945, and it was the deadliest conflict in human history.
- The Soviet Union played a crucial role in defeating Nazi Germany, with around 27 million Soviet citizens losing their lives in the war.
- The first Victory Day parade was held in Moscow on June 24, 1945, just a few weeks after the victory over Nazi Germany.
- However, the tradition of celebrating Victory Day on May 9th began in 1965, when the Soviet government declared it an official holiday.
- The date was chosen to coincide with the signing of the German Instrument of Surrender on May 8th, 1945, which ended the war in Europe.
- However, due to the time difference between Moscow and Berlin, it was already May 9th in Moscow when the signing took place.
- Today, Victory Day is celebrated throughout Russia with parades, fireworks, and other events to honor the country’s veterans and remember the sacrifices made during the war.
Significance of the Day
- Victory Day is a significant day for Russia and other former Soviet Union countries as it marks the end of World War II in Europe and the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany.
- The war had caused immense devastation, with an estimated 27 million Soviet citizens losing their lives.
- Victory Day is a day to remember and pay tribute to the sacrifices of those who fought and died during the war, and to honor the role of the Soviet Union in defeating Nazi Germany.
- The day is also celebrated to promote peace and unity and to remind the world of the dangers of war and the importance of preventing it.
- It is marked with parades, ceremonies, and wreath-laying events in Russia and other former Soviet Union countries.
World War II
- World War II was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945.
- It involved the majority of the world’s nations, including all of the great powers, organized into two opposing military alliances:
- The Axis Powers: Germany, Japan, and Italy, along with their allies.
- The Allied Powers: Great Britain, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Soviet Union), and the United States, along with their allies.
- Treaty of Versailles (1919) and the economic hardship and humiliation imposed on Germany, led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
- The failure of the international community to stop the aggression of the Axis Powers, such as the Japanese invasion of China and the Italian invasion of Ethiopia.
- The policy of appeasement by the Western powers towards the expansionist policies of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy.
- The war was marked by some of the deadliest military conflicts in human history, including the Holocaust, a genocide in which Nazi Germany murdered millions of Jews and other marginalized groups.
- The war also resulted in the use of atomic bombs by the United States against Japan, which led to Japan’s surrender and the end of the war.
- The death toll is estimated to be between 70-85 million people, including civilians and military personnel.
- The rise of the United States and the Soviet Union as superpowers led to the Cold War and the arms race.
- The establishment of the United Nations to promote international cooperation and prevent future wars.
- The Nuremberg Trials and the Tokyo Trials, where the leaders of the defeated Axis Powers were prosecuted for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against peace.
Treaties Signed after the War
- The Treaty of Versailles was replaced by the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany (1990).
- The Potsdam Conference (1945) resulted in the division of Germany into four occupation zones controlled by the Allies.
- The Yalta Conference (1945) resulted in the division of Europe into Western and Eastern blocs and the recognition of the Soviet Union’s dominance in Eastern Europe.
- Russia, officially known as the Russian Federation, is a country located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia.
- Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of land area, covering over 17 million square kilometers.
- It is a federal semi-presidential republic, with Moscow as its capital city.
- Russia has a rich history, with various ethnic groups and cultures inhabiting the region for thousands of years.
- It is known for its vast landscape, ranging from forests and tundra to mountains and deserts, as well as its contributions to science, literature, music, and art.
- In recent times, Russia has been in the news for its involvement in international affairs, including its annexation of Crimea, alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election, and its ongoing conflict with Ukraine.
- President – Vladimir Putin (Since May 2012)
- Prime Minister – Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin (Since January 2020)
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