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What is victory day?

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What is victory day?

Context:

Russia, on June 24th, celebrated 75th Victory Day, with a military parade that was meant to be held on 9 May (Postponed because of COVID pandemic).

What is Victory Day?

Victory Day marks the end of World War II and the victory of the Allied Forces in 1945.

Adolf Hitler had shot himself on April 30. On May 7, German troops surrendered, which was formally accepted the next day, and came into effect on May 9.

In most European countries, it is celebrated on May 8, and is called the Victory in Europe Day.

Why does Russia not celebrate Victory Day on the same date?

This is because the instrument of surrender signed on May 7 stipulated that all hostilities would cease at 23:01 Berlin Time on May 8 and, as time in Moscow was an hour ahead, this would push the ceasefire into May 9.

  1. An initial document was signed in Reims, France on May 7.
  2. But, Russia argued that some German troops considered the Reims instrument a surrender to the Western allies only and that fighting continued in eastern Europe, especially in Prague.
  3. Therefore, Soviet Union demanded another signing.
  4. A second surrender ceremony then took place in a manor on the outskirts of Berlin late on May 8, when it was already May 9 in Moscow.
  5. Both texts stipulated that forces under German control were to cease operations at 11:01pm Berlin Time.

Therefore, in the eyes of the Soviet Union, the head of Germany’s armed forces surrendered personally to Joseph Stalin’s representative on May 9 and the instrument of surrender was signed in the early hours of that day.

Is the June 24 date particularly significant?

The celebrations this year were pushed to June because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, June 24th is also significant for Russia.

  • After winning the war and having its own Victory Day on May 9, Stalin wanted to commemorate the victory with a military parade On June 24, 1945 in commemoration of the victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War.
  • Hence the first Victory Day Parade took place on June 24 in Moscow.

However, since then, the Victory Day Parades have taken place on May 9.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Axis and Allied powers.
  2. Reasons for the WW2.
  3. Outcomes of WW2.
  4. Why Victory Day celebration dates differ across the world?
  5. Why Russia Chose May 9th?

Mains Link:

Write a note Victory Day celebrated by Russia.

Sources: Indian Express.