May 9 is a historical day celebrated by the Russians and people from the former Soviet Union republics. This year is special as May 9, 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War.

Usually this important holiday is celebrated with a military parade, concerts, fireworks and definitely, recognition of the veterans.

This year due to known circumstances, i.e. coronavirus, it transformed in the aviation performance.

History of the Victory Day

May 8, 1945 at 22:43 CET (May 9 at 0:43 Moscow time) is the moment of signing the German Instrument of Surrender in Karlshorst, a locality in Berlin.

Before signing the document, on May 8 in 1945, Joseph Stalin signed the Decree to claim May 9 the Victory Day.

At 2:10 am a famous Soviet speaker Yury Levitan read the German Instrument of Surrender. People were leaving their houses and celebrating the long-waited victory. People gathered and moved towards the Red Square. There was a festive celebration, lots of songs, music, happy faces. The evening sky was lit up with 30 volleys of fireworks.

The first Victory parade was held on the Red Square in Moscow on June 24, 1945. Marshal Georgy Zhukov, who accepted the surrender of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union during the signing of the Instrument, and Konstantin Rokossovsky rode through the parade. Around 35 000 people took part in the procession that year.

In the Soviet time, the Victory Parade took place in 1965, 1985 and 1990. Since 1995 it was held on the main square of the country annually. Combat vehicles joined the parade after 2008.

Historical facts

World War II and the Great Patriotic War are the largest-scaled and cruelest battles. These events were a tragedy to people of different countries and nationalities.

During the military actions that lasted for almost 4 years, only in the Soviet Union over 1710 cities, 70 000 villages, 32 000 factories and plantsб 98 collective farms were destroyed and plundered. The harm cost over 128 billion dollars.

The war caused much sorrow – millions of soldiers and civilians died. In total, the Soviet Union lost 25,6 million people. Some sources speak about 29,6 million people. No less than 13,7 million casualties were among civilians.

On the Victory Day, wreaths are laid to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier next to the Eternal flame that is kept in the memory of the fallen heros.

Since 2014, it has become a tradition to organize the Immortal regiment when people walk with the portraits of their ancestors that took part in the Great Patriotic War.