Russia celebrates Victory Day, what is it?

Various rumours were going around that Vladimir Putin would declare war on the rest of Europe on Russia’s Victory Day. But what exactly is this national holiday?

Today, May 9, Russia celebrates Victory Day with an impressive military parade, but what exactly are they celebrating?

What is Victory Day?

Victory Day is celebrated every year in Russia on May 9. This day marks the Soviet Union’s win over Nazi Germany during World War II. The day marks when German-occupied territories were liberated thanks to the Western Allies (Britain, US…).

Most European countries celebrate on May 8 as that was the date when the treaty was signed in 1945, but due to the time difference, when the announcement was made, it was already May 9 in the Soviet Union.

Vladimir Putin at the Victory Day parade in 2017 Mikhail Svetlov/Getty

What happens on Victory Day in Russia?

Traditionally Russia celebrates Victory Day with a military parade with thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks, aircraft, and heavy artillery according to The Wall Street Journal. The parade takes place in Moscow’s Red Square.

Moreover, during the time leading up to the parade, state television typically airs wartime documentaries and films that will highlight the Soviet soldiers’ heroism as well as interviews with veterans, according to The Wall Street Journal. There are also concerts and lectures about the war.

During Victory Day, there is also an ‘Immortal Regiment’ procession in multiple Russian cities, which involves people holding up placards of their loved ones who died during World War II. This year, Russian citizens will also be holding placards of those who died during the ongoing war in Ukraine, according to Euronews.

The celebrations usually end with a firework display over the Kremlin.

This year marks the 77th anniversary of Victory Day.

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