Russia’s Victory Day:
May 9 is celebrated as “Victory Day” in Russia
- To commemorate the Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazi Germany in World War II. It was first celebrated in 1965 under Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
- It was occasionally marked in the Soviet era and revived by President Boris Yeltsin for the 50th anniversary in 1995.
- In 2008, Vladimir Putin made it an annual event featuring military hardware. 2022 marks the 77th anniversary.
- Victory Day is marked by a military parade in Moscow, and Russian leaders traditionally stand on the tomb of Vladimir Lenin in Red Square to observe it.
- On June 22, 1941, the German army began its invasion of the Soviet Union.
- Operation Barbarossa is the code name for the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
- To conquer the western Soviet Union and create more Lebensraum (living space) for Germany.
- Nazi Germany aimed to eventually exterminate the indigenous Slavic peoples by mass deportation to Siberia and repopulated the western Soviet Union with the Germans.
- Hitler arrogantly believed the war would last no longer than three months; his soldiers did not even bother to bring winter clothes.
- By 1943, the Germans’ rapid advance collapsed under the weight of the fierce Russian winter and partisan guerrillas.