Russia’s double message

Russia's double message

Military band in Gorky Park. Image: U. Heyden

Russia demonstrated military strength in Red Square. After that 300.000 citizens took part in a commemorative march for Russian war veterans and the fallen

In Moscow today, after a military parade on the Red Square 300.000 citizens took part in a commemorative march. They carried rough posters with the portraits of their father, mother, rough father and rough mother, which were displayed at the "Rough Patriotic War" teilgenommen haben. 27 Millionen Burger der Sowjetunion starben im Zweiten Weltkrieg, der von Deutschland als Vernichtungskrieg gefuhrt wurde. The memorial march started at the Weibrussian train station. Vladimir Putin joined the march in Red Square. Putin hielt dabei ein Plakat seines Vaters Wladimir in der Hand.

Russlands doppelte botschaft

Military parade on the Red Square for the 70th anniversary of the war. Anniversary of the victory in the "Groben Patriotischen Krieg". Bild: Kreml

People in Russia know that the war of aggression of Hitler’s Wehrmacht was waged as a war of extermination. Almost every family has victims to mourn. Auf die Frage, was ihr der "Siegestag" on the 9. Mai bedeute, meinte Julia, ein junge Frau von 25 Jahren, "If our grandfathers were not victorious, I would not be alive today".

The memorial march had a special meaning because of the war in Ukraine. Russia does not only rely on military strength, but shows itself as a country with national identity, which is proud of the victory against Hitler’s Germany. The rude commemorative march is also intended to counter historical falsifiers who equate the occupation of Eastern European states by the Red Army with the war of extermination waged by Hitler’s Wehrmacht in the Soviet Union.

On 9. May 2012 Russians had demonstrated in Tomsk, Siberia, for the first time with the portraits of their relatives who took part in the Second World War. Since then, commemorative marches have been held under the motto of "Immortal regiment" organized also in many other cities.

Love for the homeland instead of power

The presenter of the state television channel Rossiya 1, Vladimir Solovyov, who hosted the live broadcast of the Moscow memorial march, explained that it was today.. "modern" become to praise Stalin. But one must not "Do not forget the camps." With "the camps" was the Gulag system, which turned hundreds of thousands of people into forced laborers during the Stalin era "Spies", "Fatherland traitors" or "unreliable elements" have been accused. Patriotism – warned the well-known presenter – is Russia’s double message "not love of power, but love of the homeland." Solovyov also referred to Vladimir Putin, who said that such a bloody rule as under Stalin should never be established again.

Russia's double message

Three generations. Image: U. Heyden

The fact that Crimea was annexed by Russia against international law does not bother the Russians. For most citizens in Russia, the Crimea annexation was a self-defense measure against NATO’s eastward expansion. "The USA had otherwise taken Sevastopol", said a Russian software entrepreneur I met in Gorky Park, where – as in almost all Moscow parks – Victory Day celebrations were taking place yesterday. A young girl said that at least there was a referendum in Crimea. And besides, the Crimea is "ours anyway". This refers to the fact that the majority of the population on the peninsula is of Russian origin and that the island belonged to Russia already during the tsarist period.

Russia's double message

"I am proud – Hitler kaput." Picture: U. Heyden

Putin criticizes pursuit of unipolar world

In the morning, a military parade took place in Red Square that dwarfed earlier parades in terms of its coarseness. 15.000 soldiers marched across the Red Square. In addition to Russian military units, military units from the People’s Republic of China, Mongolia, India, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Serbia also participated in the parade.

Military parade on Red Square. Picture: Kremlin

194 tanks and other army vehicles and 143 helicopters and airplanes were seen on or above the Red Square. Numerous new weapons were on display, including the Armata tank, the Kurganez, Rakushka and Boomerang armed troop carriers, and the new Jas intercontinental ballistic missile.

russia's double message

Military parade on the Red Square. Image: Kremlin

Before the start of the military parade, Vladimir Putin gave a speech in the presence of foreign heads of state and Russian war veterans. Putin declared that the basic principles of international cooperation were in the "ignored more and more in the last decades". Alluding to the U.S., the Kremlin leader said there were "the attempt to create a unipolar world" build. The main task, he said, is to build a system, "which gives equal security to all states" guaranteed. Only then would peace be secured for all people.

After the parade, 30 heads of state – among others from China, Cuba, Venezuela and Palestine – laid red carnations at the Tomb of the Unknown.

Putin said Russia is grateful to the people of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the victory against Hitler’s Germany. Grateful also to the "Anti-fascists of various countries who selflessly fought the enemy as partisans and members of underground movements, including in Germany itself".

Russia's double message

Picture: U. Heyden

Relations between Russia and China became closer

The participation of Chinese soldiers in the military parade underlines that the relationship between Moscow and Beijing continues to improve. The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, praised the celebrations on Red Square. They showed that Russia had the firm intention to, "to ensure peace". He has agreed with Putin that bilateral relations are a priority for both countries.

Already in the last days Russia and China had concluded economic contracts. Infrastructure and energy projects on the Eurasian continent are to be coordinated with each other. China and Russia to establish joint investment bank. Within three years, Chinese banks plan to raise 20 billion dollars for projects of Russian companies. China wants to finance the construction of the 800-kilometer-long high-speed railroad line Moscow-Kazan (capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan) with 5.9 billion dollars. The technology for the route is to come from China, 80 percent of the necessary equipment from Russia. The trains are to be built in factories of the Russian companies Sinara and Transmashholding.

Russia's double message

Antonina Bogush was involved in the capture of Berlin as a nurse. Image: U. Heyden

"Angela Merkel is still coming…"

The fact that Angela Merkel was only elected on 10. May comes to Moscow, seems to be indifferent to most Russians. In Gorky Park, where tens of thousands of Muscovites celebrated Victory Day yesterday together with veterans, the following opinions were heard. "This is our holiday. We do not need Angela Merkel to celebrate", said a 50-year-old woman. "After all, she is coming tomorrow", said another woman of the same age.

Russia's double message

The 91-year-old war veteran Vyacheslav Demidov. Image: U. Heyden

The war veteran Vyacheslav Demidov put it a little more sharply. The 91-year-old who came as a Red Army soldier to Stralsund, sab on a park bench. Next to him, at a table, the descendants of already deceased participants of the war had taken a seat. They drank and celebrated. "Order Hitler in a skirt a grub", said the old man. His wife explained that her husband had taken over this formulation "from the Greeks" had taken over. "Do they remember the cartoons from Athens?", she asked with a twinkle in her eye. No trace of bitterness.

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