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Victory Day in Russia

Thanks to Hollywood movies, computer games, and state information, many people believe что победу над силами фашистов Гитлера во Второй мировой войне (that the victory over Hitler’s Nazi forces during World War II) was due to the United States.

A lot of nations were involved in this terrible conflict and fought against Nazi Germany. Nations like Great Britain, France, Russia, and many others.

There is no denying that the Soviet Union вовсе не являлось образцом демократии (was not an example of democracy) or соблюдения прав человека (a paragon of Human Rights), but the country brought a decisive contribution to the defeat of Hitler’s armies because the course and the outcome of the war were not only determined by the battle of Pearl Harbor or the landing of the British troops in Normandy.

Thanks to the persistent offensives of the Soviet soldiers, the war came to a turning point. The first big battle took place in 1941 near Moscow when the troops of the Fourth Reich already dreamed about taking the Kremlin and flooded the entire city (which was how Hitler wanted to do it).

Victory day

The battles of Stalingrad and Kursk

Then, in 1943, during the famous Сталинградская битва (Battle of Stalingrad now Volgograd), 6 Wehrmacht Armies under the command of Field Marshal von Paulus (who was taken prisoner along with his soldiers) were surrounded and almost wiped out.

And finally, one of the main events of World War II was Курская битва (the Battle of Kursk), величайшее танковое сражение в мировой истории (the greatest tank battle in history). More than 6 thousand tanks and 4 thousand aircraft participated in it from both sides.

These are the successes won in the battle against the most terrible ideology that has ever obsessed the minds of mankind, that we are celebrating in Russia on May 9, Victory Day.

Victory Day is celebrated on May 9 in Russia

Why do we celebrate Victory day on May 9, when other countries of the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and France commemorate it on May 8?

The fact is that Germany signed twice the act of unconditional surrender after its defeat by the Allies. The first time it happened on May 8, but then from the point of view of the Soviet authorities, the all procedure was not complete, and this is why in our country the second act, signed on May 9, is considered legitimate.

The Great Patriotic war

Actually, May 9 is the most important date in the calendar of the Russian holidays. On that day, Russians not only remember the military successes, but they also honor the memory of the great number of people killed during that war.

It is well known that 7,000,000 Jews were arrested and tortured in concentration camps. But as incredible as these numbers are, they look very pale compare to the price paid by the Soviet Union: 27 million people died during this war.

This is why Word War II in Russia is referred to as Великая Отечественная война (the Great Patriotic War), in memory of those who fought and lost their lives during this war. Today, thanks to the Soviet Union, Great Britain, the USA, and France, the world is free from the tyranny of fascism.

In Russia, Victory Day is celebrated with a military parade, music, and fireworks. In Moscow, the military parade, held on the Red Square, is hosted by the president, and the ceremony is followed by open-air concerts. All Russian cities are decorated with flags and festive illuminations. Veterans, which, alas, are less and less numerous, wear their military awards. From loudspeakers spread around town the song “День Победы(the song “Victory Day) is played on and on:

Этот День Победы

Порохом пропах,

Это праздник

С сединою на висках.

Это радость

Со слезами на глазах.

День Победы! День Победы! День Победы!

This Victory Day

Saturated with the smell of gunpowder,

This is a holiday

With gray hairs on temples.

This is joy

With tears in our eyes.

Victory Day! Victory Day! Victory Day!

To remind the younger generations of the sacrifices of their ancestors, an action called “Я помню, я горжусь” (I remember, I’m proud) allows all those who wish to, on the eve of the Victory Day, to distribute the black and orange ribbon of Saint George, symbolizing the memory of the exploits of the Soviet soldiers during the Great Patriotic war.