For most international observers, the big story of Victory Day 2008 in Moscow is the revival of the Soviet tradition of parading heavy military equipment through Red Square. For most Russians, however, today is a well deserved day off, and it will be the most beloved holiday on the national calendar before Christmas and New Years.
Today, hundreds of thousands in Russia will be participating in public events across the country to thank surviving World War II veterans for their service, and to remember the millions who died to rid the world of Nazism.
Click on the extended post to read more thoughts and watch more YouTube videos about Victory Day.
More Russian military hardware rolling near the Stary Arbat shopping district, April 29, 2008
For Westerners who still view Russia as an implacable foe of the West, today is a good day to remember those dark years from mid-1941 to early 1943, when the Russians by and large fought alone against the full brunt of the Nazi war machine. As for Russians who still view America as their adversary, perhaps they should visit the Lend-Lease section of the Memorial museum in Moscow (which reveals facts long omitted from Soviet textbooks) and look at photographs of their fathers and grandfathers riding into Berlin on thousands of American trucks.
Click on the links below to read Russia Blog posts from the previous three years about Victory Day and Russia's role in winning World War II:
Watch Frank Capra's wartime documentary Why We Fight: The Battle for Russia
A Russia Today TV video about VE-Day celebrations in Krasnodar Krai in southern Russia