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Форум » Forum in English » Holidays Russia » May 9 - Victory Day of Russia in the Great Patriotic War (Holiday, the day of Russia's military glory)
May 9 - Victory Day of Russia in the Great Patriotic War
Дата: Суббота, 08.04.2017, 06:19 | Сообщение # 1
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May 9 - Victory Day (holiday, the day of Russia's military glory) (non-working day)

Victory Day is a holiday of the victory of the Red Army and the Soviet people over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Established by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of May 8, 1945 and celebrated on May 9 of each year.

On Victory Day, an organized march to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (in Moscow), a parade in the hero cities, a festive salute.

In addition, the action "Immortal Regiment", held for the first time in 2012 in Tomsk, covers an increasing number of cities and countries year after year. In 2015, the action gathered about 12 million people who took part in the march across Russia as a whole. In Moscow alone, the action gathered 500,000 participants, including Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.

The last days of the war
Berlin Offensive Operation

In April 1945, the Red Army came close to Berlin. Soviet troops at the beginning of the operation totaled 149 rifle and 12 cavalry divisions, 13 tank and 7 mechanized corps, 15 separate tank and self-propelled brigades with a total number of more than 1,900,000 men. The 1st and 2nd armies of the Polish Army, participating in the operation, numbered 10 infantry and 1 tank divisions, as well as 1 separate cavalry brigade, totaling 155,900 men. In total, the operation involved more than 2 million soldiers and officers, 6,250 tanks and self-propelled guns, 41,600 guns and mortars, and 7,500 airplanes.

German troops occupied defense along the western banks of the Oder and Neisse rivers. On the approaches to Berlin and in the city itself was a grouping of troops, which had 62 divisions (including 48 infantry, 4 tank and 10 motorized divisions), 37 separate infantry regiments and about 100 separate infantry battalions, as well as a considerable number of artillery units And units. This grouping numbered about a million people, 1,500 tanks, 10,400 guns and mortars, 3,300 combat aircraft. Berlin itself was also turned into the strongest fortified region and prepared for conducting street fights. Around Berlin, three defensive rings were created, more than 400 reinforced concrete long-term firing points with garrisons up to a thousand people were built inside the city. The Berlin garrison itself numbered about 200 thousand people.

During the Berlin operation, the Red Army lost 78,291 people irretrievably and 274,184 people made sanitary losses. That is, more than 15,000 soldiers and officers were out of order per day. Another 8 thousand 892 people lost Polish troops, of which 2825 people - irretrievably.

During the breakthrough of the German defense, including for battles in the city, tanks were widely used. In urban conditions, they could not use all their advantages and often became a convenient target for German anti-tank weapons. This also led to high losses: in two weeks of fighting, the Red Army lost a third of the tanks participating in the Berlin operation and ACS, which amounted to 1,997 units. Also, 2,108 guns and mortars and 917 warplanes were lost, but the main task of the operation was solved completely by the Soviet troops: 70 infantry, 12 tank and 11 motorized enemy divisions were captured, about 480 thousand captured, seized the capital of Germany and actually led Germany to Surrender.

Early in the morning of May 1, 1945, during the storming of the Reichstag, Sergeant Mikhail Egorov and Junior Sergeant Meliton Kantaria, led by Junior Lieutenant AP Berest, hoisted the Victory Banner on the roof of the Reichstag building.

Signature of surrender

On May 1, 1945, at 3:50 am, the commander of the 8th Guards Army received the commander of the General Staff of the Wehrmacht, infantry general Krebs, who stated that he was authorized to negotiate a truce. However, Stalin ordered not to negotiate, except for unconditional surrender. The German command was given an ultimatum: if the consent to unconditional surrender is not given before 10:00 am, the Soviet troops will be dealt a crushing blow. Without receiving an answer, the Soviet troops at 10 hours and 40 minutes opened a hurricane fire on the remnants of defense in the center of Berlin. By 18 o'clock it became known that the demands for surrender were rejected. After this, the last storm of the central part of the city began, where the Imperial Chancery was located. All night, from 1 to 2 May, continued fighting for the office. By morning all the premises were occupied by Soviet soldiers.

On the night of May 2, at 1:50 am on the radio, the following message was received: "We send our parliamentarians to the Bismarck Strasse bridge. We stop the hostilities. " Later, Deputy Minister of Propaganda, Dr. Fritsche, appealed to the Soviet command for permission to speak on the radio with an appeal to the German troops of the Berlin garrison to end the resistance. By 15 o'clock the remains of the Berlin garrison (more than 134 thousand people) surrendered.

On May 7, at 2:45 in Reims, the act of unconditional surrender of Germany was signed. On behalf of the German High Command, the protocol was signed by General Jodl in the presence of General Walter Smith (on behalf of the allied expeditionary forces), General Ivan Susloparov (on behalf of the Soviet High Command) and General of the French Army Francois Seves as a witness. However, General Susloparov did not have permission from Moscow to sign the act of surrendering Germany, the Soviet Union insisted on signing another act.

On 8 May at 22 hours 43 minutes CET (9 May at 0 hours 43 minutes Moscow time), Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, as well as Luftwaffe representative Colonel-General Stumpf and Kriegsmarine Admiral von Friedeburg, who had the appropriate authority from Dönitz, signed another One Act on the unconditional surrender of Germany, which entered into force on May 9 from 1:00 am Moscow time.

After accepting surrender, the Soviet Union did not sign peace with Germany, that is, stayed with Germany in a state of war. The war with Germany was ended de jure on January 25, 1955 by the decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

The last message of the German bet

On May 9, the German bid, which was no longer in Zossen, occupied by Soviet troops, issued its last message:

From the stakes of Grand Admiral Dönitz

The Supreme High Command of the Armed Forces reports:

In East Prussia, on Tuesday the German troops held the mouth of the Vistula and the western part of the spit Frishe Nehrung to the last possible extent. Particularly distinguished the 7th Infantry Division. For her exemplary actions, division commander General von Saucken was awarded oak leaves with swords and diamonds to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

The main forces of our army group in Kurland, for many months under the command of the general infantry of Hilpert, who resisted the superior Soviet tank and infantry formations and bravely withstood six major battles, covered themselves with immortal fame. This army group rejected any premature surrender. Surviving aircraft in exemplary order brought to the West the wounded and the fathers of the families. The officers and staffs remained with their troops. At midnight, in accordance with the conditions we accepted, any military actions and any movements of troops were stopped.

Defenders of Breslau, who for two months repulsed all Soviet attacks, after the heroic resistance at the last moment gave way to the superiority of the enemy.

On the South-Eastern and Eastern fronts, all the headquarters of the main formations, up to Dresden, were ordered to cease fire. The uprising of the Czechs in almost all Bohemia and Moravia managed to prevent the fulfillment of the terms of surrender and our ties in the area. The headquarters of the Supreme High Command has not yet received information about the groups of the Ler, Rendulich and Scherner armies.

Fought far from the fartherland defenders of strong points on the Atlantic coast, troops in Norway and garrisons on the islands of the Aegean Sea, observing obedience and discipline, supported the honor of the German soldier.

So, since midnight the weapon on all fronts has ceased. By order of the Grand Admiral, the Wehrmacht stopped the senseless struggle that had become meaningless. Thus, almost six years of heroic combat ended. It brought us great victories, but also heavy defeats. The German Wehrmacht in the end gave way to the overwhelming superiority of the enemy in the forces. A German soldier, faithful to his oath, giving himself up to the end of his people, accomplished what will not be forgotten in the centuries. Rear until the last moment supported him with all his might, carrying with it the hardest sacrifices. The unique accomplishments of the front and rear will find their final assessment in the subsequent fair verdict of history.

Even the enemy can not deny his respect for the glorious deeds and sacrifices of German soldiers on land, on water and in the air. Therefore, every soldier can honestly and proudly release his weapons from his hands and in these hardest hours of our history bravely and confidently turn to work for the eternal life of our people.

At this hour the Wehrmacht honors the memory of its dead soldiers. The dead oblige us to unconditional loyalty, obedience and discipline in relation to the bleeding blood of the numerous wounds of the Motherland.

Recent foci of resistance

At the time of capitulation, the Germans held a number of strongholds on the Atlantic coast of France (Dunkirk, La Rochelle, Lorient), the Guernsey Islands, Jersey and a number of others, northern Germany, the territory in Central Europe (part of southern Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia), bridgeheads to the east Danzig on the Putziger-Nerung spit (the mouth of the Vistula) and in Courland (in the territory of the Latvian SSR), the islands of the Greek archipelago, Denmark and most of Norway, part of the coastal territories of Holland. The German troops in Central Europe, facing the Soviet front, did not obey the capitulation order and began to withdraw to the west, seeking to move to the Allies.

On May 10, Soviet troops occupied a bridgehead on the Putziger-Nerung spit with the town of Hel, and on May 11 it was taken under control of Courland. By May 14, the persecution of the retreating German forces in Central Europe was over. From 9 to 14 May on all fronts by the Soviet troops more than 1 million 230 thousand German soldiers and officers and 101 generals were taken prisoner. On May 15, the Soviet Information Bureau announced the end of the reception of prisoners on all fronts.

history of the holiday

The celebration of the Victory Day was introduced by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of May 8, 1945.

May 9, 1945
On May 9, the order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief (JV Stalin) was issued at number 369:

Supreme Commander-in-Chief for the Red Army and Navy

May 8, 1945 in Berlin, representatives of the German High Command signed an act on the unconditional surrender of the German armed forces.

The Great Patriotic War, conducted by the Soviet people against the German fascist invaders, was victoriously completed, Germany was completely defeated.

Comrades, Red Army men, Red Navy men, sergeants, sergeants, officers of the army and navy, generals, admirals and marshals, I congratulate you on the victorious conclusion of the Great Patriotic War.

To commemorate the complete victory over Germany today, on May 9, Victory Day, at 22:00 Moscow, the capital of our homeland, Moscow salutes the valiant troops of the Red Army, ships and units of the Navy who won this brilliant victory with thirty artillery volleys of thousands of guns .

Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in the battles for freedom and independence of our Motherland! Long live the victorious Red Army and the Navy!

Supreme Commander-in-Chief Marshal of the Soviet Union J. Stalin

May 9, 1945
In addition, on this day the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR "On the Establishment of the Medal for the Victory over Germany" in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 was issued. "

The first celebration, held on May 9, 1945, ended with a grandiose salute. In the memory of Soviet people, it is imprinted for a long time. The final victory of the victory over Germany was the Victory Parade, held on June 24, 1945.

Holiday at Stalin and Khrushchev

Until 1948, Victory Day was a non-working day, but the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of December 23, 1947, the day off was canceled: instead of the Victory Day, the New Year was created.

What motivated the adoption of the Decree of December 23, 1947, one can only guess. There is a suggestion that the initiative came from Stalin himself, who was distracted by the popularity of Marshal GK Zhukov, who personified the Victory. Only two decades later, already under Brezhnev, in the anniversary of 1965, Victory Day again became a non-working day.

Now the usual attributes of the holiday did not appear in one day. For example, during the first 20 post-war years, only one parade was held in honor of the Victory - June 24, 1945. During these 20 years, festivities were limited, for the most part, to fireworks, but the whole country, together with the veterans of the last war, celebrated Victory Day, despite the absence of an official weekend.

Both under Stalin and under Khrushchev, the "stencil" of the celebration was one: in the central newspapers there were festive editorials, solemn evenings were held, in all major cities of the USSR salutes were given out of 30 artillery salvos. The differences were limited by the fact that under Khrushchev they did not praise either the unmasked Stalin, or the generals of the last war, with whom Khrushchev quarreled.

In particular, the first anniversary of the Victory, May 9, 1955, was an ordinary working day, without a military parade, although solemn meetings were held in the country's cities. You can also note concerts and mass festivals in the squares and parks. In addition, in Moscow, the capitals of the union republics and in the hero cities, 30 artillery salutes were saluted. On this day, all the editorials of Soviet newspapers were dedicated to the Victory Day. A solemn meeting was held in Moscow, on which hung a general portrait of Lenin and Stalin.

Subsequent development

The Victory Day became the second most important national holiday (after the anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution) only for the 20th anniversary of the defeat of Germany. Brezhnev brought in the ritual on May 9, three significant amendments, which continue today:

Held a military parade on Red Square and reception in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses;
May 9 was declared a non-working day;
On Victory Day in 1967 Brezhnev personally opened the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Since then, the scale of celebrations has increased. The commemorative events on May 9, 1975 included a parade on Red Square, the laying of wreaths at the Lenin Mausoleum and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (35 minutes), at 13.00 a solemn demonstration of Moscow's youth was held in Red Square (within 45 minutes), at 15.00 - a festive reception, 18.50 - a minute of silence, at 21.00 - a festive salute.

In addition, since the sixties, the original military parades on May 9 began to be held in many cities of the USSR. On this day, military units and military schools marched through the streets of the cities to military memorials or monuments to the dead soldiers, where rallies and flowers were held.

Holiday in modern Russia

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, military parades on May 9 on Red Square were not held until the anniversary of 1995. Then in Moscow there were two parades: on Red Square (on foot) and on Poklonnaya Hill (with the participation of troops and military equipment).

Since then, parades have been held on Red Square every year, but at first without military equipment. Since 2008, the parade began to be held again with the participation of military equipment, including military aviation.

Festive processions in honor of the Victory Day are also held in all cities-heroes, military districts in a number of major cities of Russia and CIS countries. On this day, traditionally there are war veterans, wreaths are laid to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, to monuments of glory and military valor, a festive salute rattles.

In 2012, the action "Immortal Regiment" was held in Tomsk for the first time: the participants of the action follow a column and carry portraits of their fought ancestors: parents, grandfathers and great-grandfathers. Since 2013, this tradition has spread to all of Russia and beyond.

Individual dates
1995 - the 50th anniversary of the Victory. Opening of the memorial complex on Poklonnaya Hill and the monument to Marshal G. Zhukov on Manege Square. Walking parade of veterans on Red Square, military equipment on Poklonnaya Hill.
2000 - the 55th anniversary of the Victory. The last pedestrian parade of veterans was held on Red Square.
2005 - the 60th anniversary of the Victory. The parade consisted of two parts: historical and modern. The culmination of the parade was the passage of 2600 veterans on the "lorry". The start of the action "George ribbon".
2006 - The President of the Russian Federation established the honorary title "City of Military Glory".
2008 - During the parade for the first time in the history of modern Russia on the Red Square heavy military equipment was used.
2010 - the 65th anniversary of the Victory. The All-Russia Victory Parade was held for the first time in Russia on May 9, 2010.
2015 - the 70th anniversary of the Victory.

Holiday in the countries of the former USSR

Victory Day is celebrated and is a day off almost throughout the CIS: in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, as well as in Georgia, partially recognized states (Abkhazia and South Ossetia), unrecognized The Donetsk People's Republic, the Lugansk People's Republic, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Transnistria.


From 1991 to 2015, Victory Day in Ukraine was officially celebrated as "Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War". However, on April 9, 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed the law "On perpetuating the victory over Nazism in the Second World War of 1939-1945", on May 9 the law was signed by the president and on May 21 it came into force.

As a result, the previous holiday was canceled - now officially marked Day of Memory and Reconciliation (May 8) and the Day of Victory over Nazism in World War II (May 9). Also in 2015, in the framework of the decommunization of the country, Soviet symbols were banned in Ukraine, including the Banner of Victory.

However, it should also be noted that in Lviv, before the decommunization, in 2010 and 2011, the celebration of Victory Day was accompanied by incidents in which activists of "Svoboda" threatened veterans, trampled on and burned Soviet flags and attacked people with St. George ribbons .

Holiday outside the former USSR countries

In Israel, they also celebrate Victory Day. In this country, May 9 was a state holiday due to the adoption in 2000 of the law on World War II veterans and blockade workers, this holiday was brought with them by immigrants from Russia (and the former USSR in general), who achieved the celebration of the Victory Day at the state level. Festive parades are held with the participation of veterans of the Great Patriotic War, whose great role in defeating Germany was not immediately, but was recognized by the State of Israel.

Germany officially celebrates May 8 as Liberation Day. And although this day is not a national holiday, as a rule, various memorable events are held throughout the country, especially on the anniversary days. Besides, in Berlin on May 9, memorial events are held in Treptow Park, wreaths are laid on the monument of the soldier-liberator and festivities are organized in which, first of all, the Russian-speaking population takes part.

Since 2007, in London (Great Britain), the Victory Day celebration is annually held. The focus is on Northern convoys, in which the UK played a major role. The celebration takes place on May 9, and consists of a ceremony on board the Belfast cruiser (a museum moored on the southern bank of the Thames), with the participation of British and Russian veterans, members of the British royal family, Russian and British diplomats. Since 2012, the celebration has been expanded by an open performance by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, with mandatory inclusion in the program of the overture "1812 Year" by PI Tchaikovsky, which is accompanied by cannon volleys from the cruiser.

From 1945 to 1989 years. The People's Republic of Bulgaria annually celebrated Victory Day. After November 10, 1989, Victory Day was excluded from the list of official state holidays in the country. Nevertheless, Bulgarians - members of Russophile organizations, leftist political parties and people with developed Orthodox and Slavic self-consciousness every year celebrate Victory Day. Since 2005, the Bulgarians celebrating Victory Day wear symbolic St. George ribbons.

Victory Day in the Russian Orthodox Church
In the Easter Address of 1945 Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy I wrote:

The Easter joy of the Resurrection of Christ is now connected with a bright hope for the near victory of truth and light over the injustice and darkness of German fascism, which before our eyes is broken by the combined strength of our gallant troops and the troops of our allies.

The dark forces of fascism could not oppose the light and power of Christ, and God's omnipotence was over the imaginary power of man.

Features of worship

April 26 (May 9), on Victory Day, the Russian Orthodox Church holds a commemoration of the deceased soldiers - the only day of special commemoration of the dead on a fixed date. After the liturgy, a memorial service for the dead soldiers is served in the temples. The annual commemorations on the Victory Day of "warriors, for faith, the Fatherland and the people, the lives of those who laid down their lives, and all who were martyred during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945" was established by the Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1994.

On the eve of Victory Day 2010, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill, blessed on this holiday in all the temples of the Russian Orthodox Church to perform a "moleben in memory of the deliverance of our people from a terrible, mortal enemy, from danger that our Fatherland did not know in all history." The patriarch made a special prayer for this prayer, taking as a basis the prayer of St. Philaret of Moscow, written in honor of the victory of the Russian army over Napoleon.

Event ratings
Continuing the theme of the Victory, Patriarch Kirill called to remember that it was "accomplished with the participation of the Divine will," but the war, he said, was a test of the Lord, which must be accepted in repentance:

And in response, the Lord will perform miracles, as he accomplished the miracle of saving Moscow and delivering our country and all of Europe.
- Interfax. Patriarch Kirill wrote a special prayer for the Victory Day
According to Patriarch Kirill, during the times of Filaret of Moscow (that is, in the XIX century), the Russian Church perceived the invasion of Napoleon's army as a "punishment for the sin" of the whole people. He recalled that exactly one year ago (that is 2009) called for the Victory to be perceived as God's mercy to the people after a hard trial, also conditioned by human sins, and admitted that at that moment he was "surprised by the reaction of the secular press": many journalists were critical of the This thesis.

However, estimates, according to which the Great Patriotic War was a punishment for the sin of the people, were expressed earlier. In particular, according to Archimandrite Cyril (Pavlov), said in the mid-1990s, "the great terrible Patriotic War, of course, was a consequence of God's passing" for trying to live without God, in general to put an end to religion and to affirm full atheism.

The Lord foresaw these enemy plans, and in order not to let them go, the Lord allowed the war. Not by chance.
- Archimandrite Kirill (Pavlov). I walked with the Gospel and was not afraid ...

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