Russia will mark Victory Day on Monday even as the Russian-Ukrainian war enters its third month. Speculation is rife about what President Putin would say in his speech. Putin’s VE Day address to the nation is expected to be the most watched event in the country.
The Victory Day Parade is one of the most important events in Russia. Held on May 9, it marks the end of World War II in Europe with the defeat and surrender of Nazi Germany on May 8, 1945.
Moscow and many parts of Russia and territories captured by Russia, including Mariupol, will witness “Victory Day” or what is locally called the “Patriotic War” celebrations. The streets of all these parts were decorated with Russian and Soviet victory flags (the red banner), reaffirming the idea of the Soviet Union and how everyone fought Nazism as one entity.
Russian servicemen parade during a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade (Reuters image)
The annual Victory Day Parade will take place in Moscow’s Red Square on the morning of May 9. Authorities have restricted travel on many roads and local traffic will be interrupted intermittently until the end of the day or overnight.
SEE ALSO | The Russian army participates in the rehearsal of the Victory Day parade
President Vladimir Putin is expected to use the occasion to promote patriotic unity and showcase the country’s military might. Among the pro-war additions this year is a group of fighter jets set to fly over central Moscow in a “Z” shape, a popular symbol of support for Russian troops in Ukraine.
While the number of planes expected to take part in the Moscow flypast is slightly higher than last year, media reports suggest that infantry and equipment numbers are lower. According to information released by the Russian Defense Ministry on Friday, there will be only 129 military vehicles and 10,000 military personnel this year, compared to 191 military vehicles and around 12,000 military personnel in 2021.
A total of 11,000 people, 131 industrial and special equipment units and 77 airplanes and helicopters will take part in the parade.
THE MARCH OF THE IMMORTAL REGIMENT
After the Victory Day Parade in Red Square, the Bessmertniy Polk or “The Immortal Regiment” march takes place in major cities of Russia. This is a massive civil event where people walk in a procession holding banners, placards, etc., to remember those who gave their lives in World War II.
The first in the mechanized column of the May 9 Victory Parade will be the legendary T-34 tank. In the sky, Muscovites and guests of the capital will see the Il-80 air control center, also known as the Doomsday aircraft. In addition, the 5th generation Su-57 fighters and the Tu-95MS and Tu-160 “White Swan” strategic missile carriers together with the Il-78 “tanker plane” will take part in the air show.
And finally, nine planes from the Russian aerobatic teams Knights and Swifts will line up in the Cuban Diamond suit, and six Su-25 attack planes will paint the sky in the colors of the Russian flag.
All flights are carried out at an altitude of 180 to 550 meters and at a speed of 200 to 550 km/h.
THE CITY IS APPROACHING
The biggest Victory Day celebration will traditionally take place in Moscow. On the eve of May 9, the city is festively decorated. Flags, decorative structures, themed stalls and greeting cards appear on the streets. The main color to decorate the city is red.
WHEN DOES IT START
The distribution of commemorative symbols is always carried out by volunteers. They can be found a few weeks before Victory Day in parks, neighborhood centers, squares and near major metro transfer stations. You can take the ribbon for free. In addition to the ribbons, volunteers will distribute leaflets on one side of which will be displayed the history of the Saint-Georges ribbon and on the other recommendations and rules for wearing it. In Moscow, the St George Ribbon campaign kicked off at the end of April 2022 and will run until May 9.
SEE ALSO | Rehearsals for Victory Day parade in Russia are in full swing