Russia: Victory Day

Global Voices Online
Sunday, May 11, 2008

Victory Day was as much of an event in the Russian blogosphere as it was in the streets of Moscow and other Russian cities on May 9.

LJ user kkk147 went for a morning bike ride and happened upon the departure of missiles, tanks and other heavy weaponry for the military parade on Red Square. He wrote (RUS):

Lots of fun to watch the parade when there are few people around and the vehicles are moving [so close you can touch them if you stretch out your hand] :)

More photos and video from kkk147 are here.

Aleksandr Plushev, Radio Echo of Moscow journalist, had a chance to see the same military vehicles on their way to the parade from his office on Novy Arbat. He posted photos and video on his blog, and wrote (RUS):

Finally, we've got something more interesting than the presidential motorcade driving by [below].

More parade photos from Plushev are on his Flickr page.

LJ user riverpilgrim (Mikhail Arkhipov) posted an impressive photo report from the parade's air show segment.

LJ user warsh (journalist Sergei Varshavchik) posted a photo tribute to surviving war veterans. In response to a reaader's comment, he wrote (RUS):

My grandfathers and grandmother are no longer alive, too. That's why I attend these veterans' reunions.

LJ user yashin (Ilya Yashin, leader of the youth wing of Grigory Yavlinsky's Yabloko Party) also posted veteran photos on his blog, taken by LJ user marie_automne. The first photo is of an elderly man holding a handmade poster that says that he returned from the front in 1944, disabled for life, and that his disability pension equals zero rubles, and that on May 9, 2007, there were 18,000 people like him - but only 6,000 remain this year. The last photo is of an SUV with the words "ON TO BERLIN!!!" scrawled on its back window. Yashin wrote (RUS):

On May 9, there were hundreds of veterans in the center of Moscow. They were being congratulated, children were giving them flowers, some were crying, others dancing.

And some remembered that in a few days people would take off their [St. George Ribbons] and forget about Victory Day till next year's May 9. [...]

LJ user drugoi, a top-ranking Russian blogger, posted parade and veterans photos, as well as a photo report from the Communists' May 9 rally. Below are a few comments (RUS) to the latter series:


Ha-ha... This [KPRF] is the only party opposed to the Kremlin in the [State Duma]. Only what's the difference between them? They've got so much in common. [...]



Amusing. A legalized alternative.



Would be more use of them if they were cleaning streets and backyards.



Russia is an amazing country. Here, natural selection doesn't affect idiots - they continue to exist.

Stalin... I think these people hardly imagine what life was like in those conditions. [...]

LJ user net_livejournal posted more photos from the Communists march.

LJ user photolga was dismayed with the way some people in St. Petersburg were wearing their St. George Ribbons - "one of the most recognised and respected symbols of military valour in modern Russia," according to Wikipedia. She ended her photo report (RUS) on a reconciliatory note, however:

[...] Perhaps, it's not worth it to condemn anyone - these people have not seen the war, they don't know what this Ribbon really stands for. [...]

LJ user onepamop posted two photos from a May 9 trip to [Novgorod] region, during which unburied bodies of 150 WWII soldiers were found, along with 36 medals. He wrote (RUS):

[...] This is a lot, [discoveries like this are made] very rarely, if at all.

If you manage - drink to these guys, too. It's needed today.


[...] These people (of all kinds of different ethnic backgrounds) died at the very start of the war, spent 60 years lying unidentified in a swamp and were buried today by those who found them, in a way that befits the ones who die in a battle for their Motherland. [...]

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