What is Victory Day in Russia and why is it considered so important?

  • Olga Evshina
  • BBC News – Russian Service

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A Russian tank during training for the Victory Day military parade on Red Square in Moscow on May 7, 2021

Every year on May 9 Russia celebrates Victory Day in World War II, this day is an unparalleled patriotic occasion, a very personal holiday for many families, and a great opportunity to strengthen the government’s discourse.

This year’s celebration is of particular importance to the Russian military, as it is believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will want to use the occasion to announce major gains in the war in Ukraine. What is the significance of this holiday?

World War II is the largest armed conflict in the world to date. It began with Germany’s invasion of Poland in September 1939 (although this is not a date set by Russia) and ended in 1945.