Moscow defies virus for victory parade

Russia celebrated the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany 75 years ago with the largest military parade to date on the weekend - a few weeks later than originally planned due to the pandemic, and without many of the expected guests. Despite the still critical situation with coronavirus in Russia, some 13,000 soldiers marched across Red Square without masks. What did Russia gain from the spectacle?

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Ekho Moskvy (RU) /

Sunshine and roses - apart from the Chinese

Commentator Anton Orech of Echo of Moscow provides sarcastic commentary on the parade:

“So there were no important state dignitaries at our parade - who needs them? Putin was on the Red Square, and that's what counts. The virus got a little outing and everything else went off smoothly: the weather was fine and the planes flew over the capital not once, but twice this year, once in May and now this time again. ... Anyone who falls ill after the parade will be treated. If anyone dies - well, we all have to do that at some point. But how much joy and patriotism we experienced! All in all I can only make out one flaw: the Chinese. The attitude and snappiness of our soldiers seemed exemplary - until the moment when their colleagues from China marched past them.”

Večernji list (HR) /

A show for the rival US

The annual victory parade in Moscow is also meant to demonstrate Russia's military strength, says Večernji list:

“Despite the fact that the Russian economy suffers from serious problems, Russia under Putin remains a respectable military power, the only one trying to parry the USA and which, if Putin can be believed, is also one step ahead of the USA in terms of a new type of strategic nuclear weapons. Russia remains a global nuclear power - fuelling a new arms race. The US sees the development of new nuclear weapons as a breach of the Cold War Nuclear Weapons Control Treaty, while Moscow replies that its weapons are a threat only to those who want to attack Russia.”

Zeit Online (DE) /

How history becomes a prison

Putin's distortion of historical facts should be taken very seriously, warns Zeit Online:

“Not only because Putin distills his current policies from history. But because his views may soon be enshrined in the constitution. Here the parade, history and the constitution are combined into the question of power. The new Russian constitution has an article that obliges the Russian Federation to 'ensure the defence of historical truth'. How you view World War II is therefore not a matter of free research and social discussion, but defined by governmental decree. History as a matter of state. ... What is happening here is less a plan for the future than an example of how history can become a prison.”