Different ways to celebrate Victory Day

Victory Day (May 9th) is the day in which Russia and other former Soviet countries such as Ukraine celebrate the defeat of the German Third Reich and Nazi rule and it is also the day that marked the end of the second world war in Europe. The Russians celebrated Victory Day on Monday, May 9th, and this year it took on further intrigue and importance due to Russia’s struggle in Ukraine. The event on May 9th, in fact, under Russian President Vladimir Putin grew in size and political importance, with a Soviet-style military parade on Moscow’s Red Square with about 11,000 soldiers with the participation of Putin himself at the centre of the parade. Victory Day this year has come amid widespread belief in both Russia and the West that Putin is eager to declare at least one symbolic victory in Ukraine. Putin has tried to galvanize the Russians and try to convey the message that a new sacrifice is needed, as in the past, almost a new call to fight what he claims is a “neo-Nazi” regime in Ukraine. The Western people, but also some Russians, feared that Putin would take the opportunity to announce national mobilization and formally declare war, not only against Ukraine but perhaps also against other Western countries. Fortunately, this did not happen and President Putin said that a world conflict must be averted, recalling the 24 million Soviet deaths of World War II. Unlike Putin, President Zelensky has banned ceremonies since martial law celebrations are prohibited and recorded a video in a deserted city (the same city where the military parade was held years earlier, as in Russia) in which commemorates the victims of the war and said that Ukraine will soon have two days of victory, one of which will be the commemoration of the victory over Russia. Two different ways, therefore, of commemorating, two different meanings of remembering the same event.

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Andrea Scaletta



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