Life Reflexations | Victory Day in Russia | #ДеньПобеды

#ДеньПобеды Every year, Russia celebrates its Victory day. The media all over the world uses that to demonise the country and its president. The latter, however, has little, if anything, to do with Victory Day. What is important, is the Russian tradition to remember World War II, honour the dead and to immerse our contemporaries, especially the youth, in what it was to be at war for that generation. 

The idea of the Russian Victory Day, which is one day later than the European V-Day, is that a war like World War II should never happen again. In this post I'll try to demystify its sense by going through the main symbols of the Russian Victory Day.

Life Reflexations | Victory Day Military Parade in Russia

The military parade is by no means an attempt to show a political muscle. Neither is it a manifestation of Putin patriotism, although it is how the military parade is often understood now by the lower classes of Russian society. In fact, it is a long tradition to commemorate the victory that took place on May, 9th 1945, directly after Germany had capitulated. The Victory Day military parade was received and commanded by marshal Georgy Zhukov and marshal Konstanty Rokossowski (later, defense minister in Poland) respectively.

My grandfather used to take part in that parade during his military studies in Moscow in the 1950 - 60s which was very honorable. Only the most handsome officers of a certain height and with the best notes were admitted. It was paid so much attention to the preparation that my grandfather used to say that he remembered every stone on the Red Square.

Life Reflexations | Victory Day Minute of Silence in Russia

Although much effort is being taken in order to prove the opposite all over the world today, it is impossible to deny that the Russian contribution to the victory in May 1945 was by far the biggest. 12 million human victims of World War Two or as it is called in Russia, the Great Patriotic War is one of the proofs. On May 9th, in the middle of the day, on all state channels the programs are interrupted for a minute of silence to pay tribute to all who died during the war. In battle or captured prisoner by the Germans, in concentration camps or from a disease, hunger and hard labour in the USSR.

In difficult moments, I keep remembering the grandfather's story about how he, after being evacuated from the eastern part of Poland (today Lithuania) to the Urals, used to walk 30 kilometers every day to the nearest post office to get the news about the military activities. Once he received the so-called 'killed in action' letter with some formal lines, which he kept secret from his mother for a long time.  

Life Reflexations | Russian Victory Day Films and Songs 

Those who stay in Moscow on Victory Day may go to one of the city's parks and eat the real soldier kasha (oats) served from a special military food machine or stay at home and watch some war films. There are new and old ones. Some of them are full of state propaganda, some are more profound. But if you have seen some of them, you will get the idea. During the war, Russians did well what they are good at, that is to say they died and suffered for others fulfilling their duties. Russians did not die for vague and naive communist idea, neither did they die for Stalin etc. etc. They died for their families and friends, for their children, their country and their nation whose destiny was to become slaves if Germans won

Those ideas are well reflected in their songs, which are profoundly sad and inspired by their love of life. Surrounded by death, people tried to find some hope and comfort in songs which brought them courage. Just try to listen to the song below without any translation or subtitles.

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