No 9 May Victory Parade first since 1995

The jubilee Victory Parade is postponed until further notice

No 9 May Victory Parade first since 1995
Photo: kremlin.ru

President of Russia Vladimir Putin postponed the Victory Parade in Moscow dedicated to the 75th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. He announced this at a meeting with the government on 16 April. According to the Kremlin’s message, the parade and other events including the Immortal Regimen will be later this year. There is no data yet.

The issue of the postponement of the parade has been discussed in the last weeks. We should remind that Russian veteran organisations recently asked Putin to postpone the Moscow parade. Their address reads: “On behalf of the whole veteran community, we are asking you to make the difficult but, as we think, fair decision to hold the military parade on another date when the parade won’t become a threat because of the epidemiological situation but a true celebration of peace and safety for all its participants,” the message says.

Executives of the Russian Association of Heroes, All-Russian Public Organisation of Veterans (Pensioners) of War, Labour, Armed Forces and All-Russian Public Organisation of Veterans of the Russian Armed Forces.

The first Victory Parade in Red Square was on 24 June 1945. Photo: wikipedia.org

25-year-long tradition breaks due to pandemic

The first Victory Parade on Red Square was on 24 June 1945. It was the apotheosis of the triumph of the country that defeated fascism with horrific victims and non-human effort. Marshal Georgy Zhukov took the salute, famous Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky commanded the troops. The Victory Banner was brought from Berlin to Moscow (but it wasn’t taken to Red Square because banner bearer Semyon Neustroyev didn’t show due line training due to severe injuries, but fascist banners were taken and solemnly thrown down to the pavement), tens of thousands of war veterans participated in the parade.

9 May was a day off until 1947, but then the day off was postponed into New Year until 1965. However, the country anyway celebrated this holiday as one of the greatest and tragic ones. During the Soviet era, Victory Parades on Red Square were held just several times: during jubilees in 1965, 1985 and 1990. In 1965, Khruschyov made 9 May a day off again and declared the Victory Day a public holiday. Parades took place in different cities of the country on this day since the 60s: columns of militaries marched in the street, as a rule, to memorial monuments and stelae. But there wasn’t an annual centralised parade on Red Square.

The Victory Parades didn’t take place from 1990 to 1995, while a grandiose celebration on Red Square was on 9 May 1995, during the 50th jubilee. The veterans who were still alive participated in the parades in the 1990s. The last parade of veterans on foot was on 9 May 2000.

A grandiose celebration on Red Square was on 9 May 1995, during the 50th jubilee. Photo: wikipedia.org

The Victory Parade on 9 May has been held in Red Square since 1995, its official regulation was established in 2007. The holiday of memory and mourning turned into a celebration of memory and pride: though veterans stopped participating in it a long time ago, the country remembers the Great Victory that liberated millions of people from the yoke of fascism on this day.

The parade on 9 May 2020 was to be a jubilee.

Coronavirus is guilty

Announcing the decision to postpone the preparation for the Victory Parade, President of Russia Vladimir Putin claimed that the risks because of the coronavirus epidemic were still high.

“And this doesn’t give the right to start the preparation for the parade and other mass events now... We will make the threat we have faced today retreat and then certainly host all events scheduled for 9 May, do this warmly and solemnly, of course, this year, in 2020. Moreover, the whole year was declared the Year of Memory and Fame,” Putin stressed.

According to him, 9 May will always unite the Russian society.

“I understand that 9 May is the Victory Day for all of us. It will stay with us forever, this date can’t be either cancelled or postponed. We won’t do this: every family will remember and honour their heroes on this day, we will do our best to make sure that veterans feel our care and gratitude, we will do what we can,” the president of Russia said.

By Daria Pinegina, Lyudmila Gubayeva