May 19, 2022

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Victory Day: Why May 9 is so important to Russia

  • By Olga Ivshina
  • BBC News Russia

Image source, Getty Images

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Victory Day military parade – May 9 – plays an important role in the Russian calendar.

On May 9, Russia celebrates World War II victory: a national holiday like no other, a great opportunity for a deeply personal, but government campaign for many families.

This year is an important date for the Russian military, because it is hoped that President Putin will announce significant progress on this occasion. Ukrainian war.

What is the significance of this day?

There was World War II The world’s largest armed conflict To date.

It began with the invasion of Poland in September 1939 (although this was not a date marked by Russia) and ended in 1945.

Tens Millions of people lost their lives; Millions of people around the world were displaced.

Image source, Halton Archive / Getty Image

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The Germans signed the surrender documents twice.

Is one of the countries belonging to the Soviet Union The broad coalition that defeated Nazi Germany Most of the fighting took place during this battle and in his territory, probably severely affected.

In May 1945, Nazi Germany signed Unconditional surrender in World War IIAccepted his defeat in Europe.

Although the war against Japan in Asia continued until August of that year, this legal document ended hostility on the continent.

Official and final surrender Signed May 8 near Berlin.

The Germans officially stopped all operations at 23:01 local time It was past midnight in Moscow.

Image source, Keystone-France / Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

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Signed the German Surrender Act at the Russian headquarters in Karlskorts, northeast of Berlin.

But in Russia, Serbia and Belarus it is celebrated on May 9th.

Victory Day Ended a long and bloody war Many families in the Soviet Union lost loved ones.

Ideological tool

But it was not until much later that the date moved away from its memorial purpose and became an important ideological tool for the state.

For almost two decades after the end of the war, May 9 was no longer a national holiday in the Soviet Union Celebrated only in big cities With fireworks and local festive events.

Image source, Getty Images

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It was under Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev that Victory Day began to gain prominence.

In 1963, Leonid Brezhnev, then president of the Soviet Union, began a policy. Create a cult of victory in the war against Nazi GermanyPossibility to strengthen the country’s declining ideological base and sense of patriotism.

This means national events, a military parade in Red Square and a public holiday on May 9.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin did more to enhance the meaning of Victory DayTrying to make it an inseparable part of being Russian.

Victory Day celebrations grew in scale, but each year fewer war veterans and eyewitnesses survived and were able to attend the ceremonies.

There is also the story of Russia’s key role in defeating Nazism Established in the 2020 amendments to the Russian Constitution.

Among other changes that emphasize conservative values ​​and nationalism, Russian citizens were forbidden to question the official historical narrative About success.

Image source, Getty Images

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Vladimir Putin has played a key role in building Victory Day a scene.

“It has had a positive effect: for example, there has been a greater focus on the study of war history. Millions of documents have been made public and digitized, but on the other hand, we are seeing an increase. The militarization of the masses“We can do it again,” says the expert, referring to slogans that have begun to appear on Russia’s Victory Day celebrations over the past decade, most likely by the Russian military. [AbouthalfofEuropein1945[1945இல்ஐரோப்பாவின்பாதியைக்கைப்பற்றியது

Massive patriotic celebrations did not bring much true knowledge.

Historians point out that World War II, or the Great Patriotic WarAs is well known in Russia, it often underestimates key factors such as the severe human casualties suffered by the Soviet Union in halting the German invasion.

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It is not known exactly how many Soviet civilians died in World War II, but estimates put the number at more than 28 million.

According to the 2020 state census, most Russians knew very little about how and where their relatives spent the war.

Less than a third of 18-24 year olds knew when the Great Patriotic War broke out (When Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union In June 1941).

Since 2014 and since the onset of tensions in eastern Ukraine, the state media has increased their prominence. The patriotic component of the struggle against the Nazis.

When the Russian authorities They lied about being extreme right-wing When they came to power in Ukraine, they emphasized Russia’s historic role in defeating fascism.

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Many Russians do not know what happened to their families during the war.

Allocation

For example, in 2011 a group of independent journalists in the Siberian city of Tomsk launched a local initiative. They called it the “Immortal Regiment” in memory of those who fell in battle.

The idea was that people would march on Victory Day with pictures of those who had fallen in battle, thus creating a commemorative “regiment”.

The initiative soon spread to other parts of Russia Becomes a national event.

In 2015 it was Created a state system of the same nameBut the founders of the original movement were not included.

The “Immortal Regiment” became a government initiative involving public sector employees, school students and the state media, sometimes on a mandatory basis.

In this way, the Russian authorities only wanted to mention it Victory Day Celebration with the sponsorship of AndState was right.

Image source, Getty Images

In 2020, the 75th anniversary of the victory in World War II had to be postponed from May to the end of June due to the Govt-19 epidemic, but that has yet to change. One of the most luxurious things Russia has ever seen.

More than 20,000 people, hundreds of aircraft and armored vehicles attended Massive military paradeExhibits new military equipment, with the aim of attracting the world by the might of Russia.

Within two years, the country was engaged in a full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Russia’s goals revealed by President Putin “Militarization” and “Tenacification” of Ukraine.

Image source, Getty Images

As the military campaign did not yield quick results (for example, the capture of Kyiv or the coup of the Ukrainian government), Russian commanders are expected to try to make May 9 a prime date again.

If Russia can make significant regional gains on that day, then Moscow can recreate Victory Day again for campaign purposes.

Victory Day celebrations will become an opportunity for the authorities to reaffirm it Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine is not a war aggression But the struggle to eradicate Nazism.

A statement that did not confirm the daily events taking place at the stadium.

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