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Victory Day in Russia

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Photo: © 2014 Victory Day 70 Committee in Canada.

Introduction

Russia celebrates Victory Day on 9 May every year to commemorate the victory of Allied Forces at Eastern Front and the capitulation of Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Exactly at 2:10 am Moscow time on this day in 1945, radio announcer Yuri Levitan declared that Germany has been entirely vanquished with the signing of the final treaty in Berlin.

In the former Soviet Union this festival was celebrated to commemorate the Red Army's victory over the Nazi forces. Unlike the rest of Europe, where it is celebrated on May 8, Victory Day in Russia is celebrated on May 9 as Germany's surrender was signed late in the evening on May 8, 1945, when it was already May 9 in Russia.

In 2010, the parade had included military units from foreign countries who were allied with the Soviet Union during World War II, with contingents from France, Poland, the UK, US and members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

This year, Russia will celebrate the 70th anniversary of this important event with grand Victory Day parade which will take place at Red Square in Moscow.


Brief History

The first Victory Parade was held on June 24, 1945 by the Red Army of the Soviet Union after defeating Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War (fought during the period from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945). It was first celebrated in 15 Soviet republics after the adoption of the surrender document on May 8, 1945. The parade, held at Moscow's Red Square, involved approx. 40,000 troops from Army, Navy and the Moscow Garrison including 1,850 military vehicles and other components.

The term "Great Patriotic War" is used in Russia to describe the conflict along the many fronts of the eastern campaign of World War II between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany with its allies.

The war on Eastern Front, involving the Axis Powers of Europe (mainly Nazi Germany) against the Soviet Union, Poland and other allies, was the largest military confrontation in history. The battles on this front lasted for four years where the Red Army soldiers and German divisions clashed in a series of operations that resulted in the destruction of the Third Reich, the partition of Germany for nearly half a century and the rise of the Soviet Union as a military and industrial superpower.

Victory Day honours the bravery and heroism of millions of soldiers and civilians who lost their lives in order to save their country from Nazi invaders.


Victory Day parade 2015 & India's participation

This year the Victory Day parade in Moscow will witness 16,000 troops marching in a Red Square parade, along with hundreds of units of military hardware. In a defiant show of military strength, Russia will roll out new Koalitsiya-SV (Coalition) howitzers as well as cutting- edge Armata T-14 tanks for the first time.

All in all, 194 units of military hardware and 143 planes and helicopters will take part in the parade. Flyovers will include 140 planes and helicopters.

The parade inspection will be presided by Minister of Defence General of the Army Sergey Shoigu. Col. Gen. Oleg Salyukov, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces, is this year's parade commander.

More than 1,300 foreign troops, including Serbs, Indians and Chinese, will participate in the parade. A 71-member marching contingent of the Indian Army will take part in the 2015 Victory Day Parade. A contingent of 75 soldiers from the Grenadiers Regiment will take part in the event. This is the first time that the Indian Army is taking part in the Moscow Victory Day Parade.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Cuban President Raul Castro UN chief Ban Ki-moon and many other world leaders will be attending the grand event which is illuminated by a splendid logo showing a white dove on a blue background with the slogan "Victory! 70 years, splashed over a giant banner on Red Square, Moscow.

BY: SUMAN CHOWDHURY

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