Printed on Sat Oct 01 2022 7:40:29 AM
9 May, Victory Day for Russia
This year’s Victory Day parade will take place in Moscow on Monday 9 May despite Russia sustaining heavy losses in its invasion of Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin will address Russia from Moscow as part of the country’s Victory Day celebrations against the backdrop of the continuous clash in Ukraine.
The President has outlined the mission as a “special military operation” to “neutralize” and “de-Nazify” the country since launching an invasion on 24 February.
However, after failing in its initial military objectives Russia has sustained heavy losses, while the Kremlin has been blamed for targeting civilians and committing other war crimes during the conflict.
Despite soaring casualties, and its economy reeling from the West’s stringent sanctions, Russia is still expected to frame the “special operation” as a success on Victory Day.
When is Victory Day in Russia?
Russia’s Victory Day is marked every year on Monday 9 May – it is regarded as the proudest date in the country’s calendar and has been marked as a national holiday since its formation in 1991.
It commemorates the surrender of Nazi Germany at the end of the Second World War as Soviet Forces took over Berlin.
While this milestone fell on 8 May 1945 – which is marked as VE Day in the UK and elsewhere – this came after midnight in Moscow time, hence the slightly different date.
Speaking to CNN, James Nixey, director of the Russia-Eurasia Programme at defense thinktank Chatham House, said: “May 9 is designed to show off to the home crowd, to intimidate the opposition and to please the dictator of the time.”
Mr. Putin’s rhetoric around the Ukraine invasion has heavily invoked the Second World War, with his repeated insistence that he is aiming to “de-nazify” the nation condemned by Western leaders.
In a 2015 article recalling stories from his parents about the Second World War, Mr. Putin wrote that his infant brother died of diphtheria and his mother and father were seriously injured in the siege of Leningrad during the war.
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