Russia celebrates Victory Day

10,000 soldiers on Parade in Moscow, fighter jets over the Red Square: this year, as it does every year, Russia commemorated Victory Day on May 9 with ostentatious festivities. Russia's neighbours try to determine why the celebrations are so important for the country.

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Postimees (EE) /

Replacing history with myth

Polish historian Marek Kornat explains in an interview with the daily Postimees how the commemoration of the Second World War serves the interests of the dominant ideology in Russia:

“Post-Soviet Russian society has searched in vain for an ideology that could strengthen the county's identity. The myth of the Great Patriotic War is the sole binding force still thriving on the ruins of the communist ideology. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that the aggressive history policy pursued by today's Russia makes it impossible to come to terms with the Soviet past. The cult of the imperial past is deeply embedded in Russian society. This is particularly emphasized in the education of the younger generations, because these people have no memory of the Soviet era or Stalin's crimes.”

Lrytas (LT) /

Russia moving toward fascism

Russia is simply making a fool of itself in celebrating the victory over fascism, Lrytas posits:

“Russia celebrates the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany on May 9 even though the war ended a day earlier, on May 8. The truth is that Hitler was defeated by the Allies. But little lies don't bother anyone. The Russian journalist Victor Shenderovich once commented: 'Russia may have defeated Hitler, but not fascism. Today's Russia has adopted fascism because it suits its interests.' He's not wrong there. Every dictatorship eventually becomes fascist because it adopts the essential features of fascism: lies, violence against 'others', fear, racism, enemies at home and abroad, militarism.”