The day of the end of the Second World War and the victory over Nazi Germany is celebrated in most European countries and the United States on 8 May. But Russia celebrates each year the Victory Day one day later – on 9 May, which is a day off.
The 8th May 1945 the German general field marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov and Main Marshal in Britain’s Air Force Arthur Tedder, signed Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender in Berlin`s suburb Karlshorst. The signing took place at 22.43 Central European Time. In Moscow a new day had already started and the clock was at 0:43 Moscow time. That is the reason why Russia celebrates the Victory Day one day later.
Each country marks the day in his own way. In the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and France May 8 is national holiday. Traditionally military parades, church services, flower ceremonies at memorials and veteran meetings take place, writes the Russian news service Voice of Russia .
On Friday there will be parades all over Russia with veterans, active soldiers and civilians. Also in Murmansk the end of the Great Patriotic War is marked with a big parade that includes tanks and other weapons that will drive across the main street Lenin Prospekt. At the central square will be speeches, music, food stalls, performances – and according to the weather forecast: good weather.
“I have seen the parade over the years and will do so also tomorrow”, said russia-media.RU publisher Ulrich Kreuzenbeck . “Personally I’m no fan of military force and weapons, but I must say that I have never experienced the Russian Victory Day as an aggressive demonstration of power. Though I have a German background I take part of the folk festival that marks the end of the fascist terror which has destroyed much of Europe and killed and injured tens of millions of people. We must never forget that the Soviet Union was extremely important in the successful fight against Nazi Germany and its fascist allies” .
Friday is a day off so that the Russians can enjoy a long weekend.
During this week Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he will travel to France in early June to attend the 70th commemoration of D-Day in Normandy. French President Francois Hollander said in this connection that he welcomes his colleague Putin.
“One can disagree with Vladimir Putin”, said Hollande considering the crisis in Ukraine, but he stressed that he will never forget that millions of Russians lost their lives in World War II.
There are many who believe that the announcement of the journey gives hope for a de-escalation of the political situation in Europe.