(This video has English subtitles. If they do not appear, click the rounded white box at the bottom to turn them on. If that doesn’t work, you may have to click “Play on YouTube” and do it there.)
Victory Day, the 9th of May, has been a major holiday in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia since 1945. It commemorates the signing of the German Instrument of Surrender which ended World War II in Europe (which is called the Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union and Russia), which occurred on the 9th of May in the Moscow time zone.
Victory Day has traditionally been the occasion for grand military parades through Red Square and patriotic oratory by leaders. With Russia currently engaged in a hot military conflict in Ukraine, there has been speculation that the celebration may be used to rally the Russian people behind the effort and possibly announce additional measures to achieve Russian objectives.
Dawn is only a few hours away in Moscow. We’ll see.
A few years ago, pre-CovidScam, I happened to be in Moscow on May 9. The parade through Red Square is invitation only, but the crowds outside the Square are amazing. Lots of people carrying photos of ancestors who died in WWII. Streets for several miles lined with folks saluting the parade units as they exit from Red Square after their appearance. Massive lines of well-dressed people in the evening carrying flowers to lay at the Eternal Flame burning outside the Kremlin. A sober, somber occasion which really engages the citizenry. The memory of the Great Patriotic War is very much alive in Russia.
Here is Vladimir Putin’s speech at the Victory Day celebration in Red Square.
This was a short speech with no striking military or foreign policy announcements, reinforcing the “anti-Nazi” objective of the Ukraine invasion.
Here is video of the complete Victory Day celebration with English commentary by The Telegraph.
The military parade was small and subdued compared to earlier grand displays.
For a man whom the media assure us is in hospital having cancer treatment, President Putin certainly gives a good – even gracious – speech:
"We know that American veterans who wanted to come to the parade in Moscow were effectively banned from doing so. But I want them to know that we are proud of your exploits, your contribution to the common Victory.
We honor all the soldiers of the allied armies - Americans, British, French - participants in the Resistance, brave soldiers and partisans of China - all who defeated Nazism and militarism."
Technically, the Allies defeated Germany, not Nazism and militarism. But President Putin was too polite to say that. And not a teleprompter in sight!