Russia to hold Victory Day parade today; Do you know its importance?
Putin's Victory Day speech is likely to be the most viewed event in the country. During the symbolic event, Putin is expected to demonstrate Russia's military power.
Russia will observe Victory Day on May 9, commemorating the country's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. However, Victory Day falls as the Russia-Ukraine conflict enters its third month, and there is much conjecture about what President Vladimir Putin would say in his address. According to a BBC story, the Victory Day parade was held on occasion throughout the Soviet era. President Boris Yeltsin, however, resurrected it for the 50th anniversary in 1995.
In 2008, however, Vladimir Putin made it an annual celebration involving military weapons. Victory Day has significantly shaped Russian identity, with schoolbooks and history books portraying Russia as Europe's wartime liberators.
After annexing Crimea in 2014, Vladimir Putin celebrated Victory Day with a speech in Red Square about fighting Nazism.
This year, though, will be different. Russia is at war once more, this time with one of its neighbours. And Vladimir Putin may have wanted to use the day to celebrate his own win in Ukraine with the Russian people. However, after a botched invasion, he has yet to achieve his most recent claimed goal of capturing the Donbas area.
Putin's Victory Day speech is likely to be the most viewed event in the country. During the symbolic event, Putin is expected to demonstrate Russia's military power. Huge intercontinental ballistic missiles will be dragged past Moscow's Red Square for official inspection, and a scheduled flyover will involve fighter planes in a "Z" configuration signalling support for the war.
Following the Victory Day Parade in Red Square, the Bessmertniy Polk, or 'The Immortal Regiment,' marches through major Russian cities. It is a major civil event in which people walk in a procession holding banners, placards, and other items in memory of those who died in WWII.
The iconic T-34 tank will lead the mechanised column of the Victory Parade on May 9. Muscovites and visitors to the capital will view the Il-80 air control centre, popularly known as the Doomsday Aircraft, in the sky. The air show will also include 5th generation Su-57 fighters, strategic missile carriers Tu-95MS and Tu-160 "White Swan," as well as the "air tanker" Il-78.
According to figures released Friday by Russia's Defense Ministry, there will be 129 military vehicles and 10,000 people this year, down from 191 vehicles and 12,000 personnel in 2021.
Finally, nine Russian Knights and Swifts aerobatic teams will fly in the Cuban Diamond formation, while six Su-25 assault planes will decorate the sky in Russian flag colours. All flights are conducted at a height of 180 to 550 metres and a speed of 200 kilometres per hour.
The main Victory Day event will be staged in Moscow, as is customary. The city is festively decked on the eve of May 9. On the streets, there are flags, colourful constructions, themed stalls, and greeting cards. The primary colour used to decorate the city is red.