ПОБЕДА

Victory!

Today is Victory Day. In Russia the end of the Second World War in Europe (what Russians call the Great Patriotic War) is celebrated on May 9th, not the May 8th VE Day we know. The Soviet Union, as it then was, was the country that both suffered the most in that war (26.6 million dead) and also did the most to defeat Nazi Germany on the ground.

I’ve seen it suggested that the German surrender to the Allies in the West came late in the evening so that it was one day later in Russia. However that surrender to Eisenhower understandably somewhat miffed the Soviet Union which wanted a surrender of its own, which duly happened the day after, to Marshal Zhukov in Berlin. So May 9th is Victory Day, ДЕНЬ ПОБЕДЫ (DEN’ POBEDY.)

It is celebrated every year but there were special plans for this year’s 75th anniversary. As elsewhere, coronavirus put a hold on those.

Just off Nevsky Prospekt, St Petersburg, last year, we found this memorial garden:-

Victory Day Memorial Garden, St Petersburg

Beyond the tulips in front of the protruding wing of the building the Russian word for VICTORY was picked out in hedging beside a red star. ПОБЕДА:-

Victory Day Memorial Garden, St Petersburg

Beyond the gates and off to the right was this modern building which was displaying Victory Day banners. My reading of Cyrillic is much too insufficient to decipher what sort of exhibition was taking place inside:-

Modern Building, St Petersburg

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