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Celebrating the Victory in Russia Causes Outrage in the Baltics
May 10, 2011 14:46

The commemoration of the 66th anniversary of the Soviet's Union victory over Nazi Germany has gathered over 20 thousand soldiers, airmen, sailors and cadets on the Red Square.

A large-scale military parades took place in Moscow and other Russian cities. But since 1945 year the Victory Day has never been such a thing that causes disputes and calls up so many opinions. In Ukraine and Baltic countries demonstrators were reminded that the Red Army's deeds hadn't been bringing a "liberation" for those countries.

The capitulation of Wehrmacht entered into force on the very evening of 8th of May, when it has been already the next day in Moscow. That's why this holiday, which also meant the expansion of the territory for the Red Army, is celebrated on May, 9. In March 1946 Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, declared that Europe had been separated by the "Iron Curtain".

On the 9th of May Russian President Dmitry Medvedev congratulated the veterans and his speech was welcomed with the prolonged shouting "Hurrah!" of the soldiers, standing on the Red Square. The President paid tribute to the 27 million Russians who gave their lives to defend “things that cannot be sacrificed under any circumstances — freedom, dignity and peace of the homeland”, according to the Hindu. "A vintage black limousine carried Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, standing ramrod straight in the front of the open car, through the square as he inspected the troops, some bearing the red flags with the hammer and sickle that the earlier generations had carried into battle", notes the Washington Post.

The troops were followed by more than 100 vehicles of Russia's most modern hardware, from airdropped armoured personnel carriers to long-range mobile ballistic missiles Topol-M, says the Hindu.

All day long Russian TV channels were televising the old war movies and new films, telling about Soviet soldier's life. On the evening the city has been illuminated by colorful flashes of fireworks. To ensure the good weather special planes were dispersing clouds around Moscow.

The anniversary of the Victory has been celebrating in Ukraine in the atmosphere of tension. The German source Die Welt notes, that the ruling party of the country with the help of a "friendly pressure of Russia" had approved a new law, which says, that the Victory Banner (a red flag with hammer and sickle) should appear next to the yellow-blue national Ukraine's flag on the Victory Day.

However, the President Viktor Yanukovych hasn't signed the law yet and Kiev refused to hold the Parade. Nevertheless, the President participated in the military theatrical representation and veterans received their gifts, according to the Die Welt.

In addition, the law on the Red flag caused a hot dispute in Ukraine. According to some media resources, pro-Soviet demonstrators arrived to the Western Ukraine from other regions on Monday, 9th of May. But all the rallies were prohibited.

  Nevertheless, some clashes between pro-Soviet and nationalist demonstrators took place new the Soviet monument in Lvov. As a result, many people were injured. Pro-Soviet demonstrators unfurled a large Soviet flag. Young nationalist demonstrators snatched the wreath from the Russian diplomat, which he was going to put on the monument and also they burnt red flags on the Market square in Lvov.

In the Baltic countries, where lives Russian minority, this day caused very different feelings. In Tallinn Estonian demonstrators gathered in front of the Russian embassy to remember sufferings of the Soviet era. Also thousands of people, most of them were Russians, gathered in front of the Soldier monument. This monument, a soldier of the Red Army, was moved from downtown to the cemetery on the outstriks of Tallin in 2007. After the monument had been moved, Russians organized clashes with the police and made some cyber-attacks on Estonian government, according to Die Welt. According to some reports, over the past weekend some desecrations of the Estonian flag has been committed.


Tags: Soviet Union Russia International    

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