Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945

On May 9, Russia annually celebrates a national holiday: Victory Day, which is celebrated to commemorate the victorious end of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

The Great Patriotic War, which is an integral part of World War II from 1939-1945, began at dawn on June 22, 1941, when Fascist Germany, in violation of the Soviet-German treaties of 1939, attacked the Soviet Union . Romania, Italy acted on their side, Slovakia joined them on June 23, Finland on June 25, Hungary on June 27 and Norway on August 16.

The war lasted almost four years and became the largest armed confrontation in the history of mankind. On the front, which extends from Barents to the Black Sea, 8 to 13 million people fought simultaneously on both sides in different periods of the war, from 6,000 to 20,000 tanks and assault weapons, from 85,000 to 165 thousand weapons and mortars, from 7 thousand to 19 thousand airplanes.

In their aggressive plans, the Nazis made the main emphasis on the “lightning war”: within one and a half or two months, defeat the Red Army, capture Moscow and Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), industrial areas of the European part of the USSR, go to the Arkhangelsk-Volga line and with powerful attacks Aviation in the industrial regions of the Urals triumphantly ends the war with the Soviet Union. His plans included the dismemberment of the USSR, the secession of Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states, Crimea, Moldova and the Caucasus.

However, the invaders’ plans for a quick victory over the Soviet people in a short-term campaign failed. In bloody battles, the Soviet troops exhausted the enemy, forcing him to become defensive on the entire German-Soviet front, and then inflicted a series of major defeats on the enemy. Soviet soldiers defeated Nazi troops in the biggest battles near Moscow, Stalingrad (now Volgograd), Leningrad, in the Kursk Bulge, in the Dnieper, in Belarus and the Baltic.

Having cleared the territory of the USSR from the enemy, they, interacting with the armies of the Allies in the anti-Hitler coalition, completed the defeat of fascist Germany in 1945 and freed the countries of Europe from occupation.

The patriotic war, a tragedy that entered almost all Soviet families, ended with the victory of the USSR. The act of unconditional surrender of Germany was signed in the suburbs of Berlin on May 8, 1945 at 22.43 CET (Moscow time on May 9 at 0.43).

The date of the official announcement of the signing of the surrender (May 8 in Europe and America, May 9 in the USSR) began to be celebrated as Victory Day in Europe and the USSR, respectively. In Israel, Victory Day is celebrated on May 9 at the initiative of returnees of the USSR. The date of the celebration is legalized at the state level, in 2017, the Israeli parliament passed a special law.

In the USSR, May 9 was declared Victory Day over Nazi Germany by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of May 8, 1945. The document declared on May 9 “the day of national triumph” to Mark the victorious end of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet people against the Nazi invaders and the historical victories of the Red Army, which culminated in the complete defeat of Nazi Germany, which declared unconditional surrender and a day off.

On May 9, 1945, festivities and crowded demonstrations took place everywhere. In the squares and parks of cities and towns, groups of amateur artists, popular theater and cinema artists performed, and played orchestras. At 21 o’clock, the president of the Council of People’s Commissaries, Joseph Stalin, addressed the Soviet people. At 22 o’clock a greeting was fired with 30 artillery discharges of 1000 guns. After the greeting, dozens of planes threw multicolored rocket garlands over Moscow, numerous Bengal lights flashed in the squares.

On December 23, 1947, a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR was issued, according to which on May 9, the holiday of the victory over Germany, was declared a business day.

On May 9, 1995, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War in Moscow, the Red Square organized an anniversary parade of war veterans and domestic workers with units of the Moscow garrison, which, according to the plan of its organizers, reproduced the historic Victory Parade of 1945. The banner of victory was taken to the parade.

Since then, parades in the Red Square were held annually, but without military equipment. In 2008, the participation of military equipment and military aircraft in them resumed.

According to the presidential decree of April 15, 1996, Victory Day, placing wreaths in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, holding ceremonial meetings, parades of troops and processions of World War II veterans on the Red Square in Moscow , together with the State Flag of the Russian Federation, the banner of the Victory is raised above the Reichstag. in May 1945. In 2007, the Law “on the banner of victory” was adopted, which stipulated that if the banner of victory was being restored, copies could be used.

According to tradition, on Victory Day, in addition to a military parade, artillery fireworks, ceremonies, receptions, meetings with veterans, placement of crowns on monuments, memorials, mass graves of soldiers, etc. are held.

Since 1965, for many years, there has been a tradition: every year, Victory Day, May 9, at 6:00 p.m. Moscow time, a minute of silence was announced throughout Russia on radio and television . But in recent years, the head of state has declared a minute of silence during his speech at the Victory Parade.
Since 2005, a few days before Victory Day, the patriotic campaign “St. George Ribbon” begins. For millions of people, not only in Russia but also abroad, the St. George’s ribbon is a symbol of memory, the connection of generations and military glory.

Since 2016, the action has been carried out by thousands of Victory Volunteers throughout Russia with the coordination and support of Rospatriottsentr and Rossotrudnichestvo with the information support of Russia Today MIA.

On May 9, he also organizes a public action in memory of the Immortal Regiment, which is a procession during which people carry photographs of their relatives who participated in the Great Patriotic War. It was first held in Tomsk in 2012. Since then, the action has become an integral part of the May 9 celebration across the country.

We leave the complete parade of this year 2014 for those who have not been able to attend and think about the possibility of attending next year.

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