Victory Day – Russia commemorates the ‘Great Patriotic War’

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May 9th 2017 marked the 72nd anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in what Russians call the ‘Great Patriotic War’. Hundreds of thousands of Russians took to the streets holding photos of their forbearers who died in the war, to celebrate a victory earned with the blood of an estimated 26 million Soviet citizens.

Max Hastings, a journalist and historian, estimates that Russian soldiers constituted 95% of military deaths of the major allied powers of United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union. To put that in perspective, for every American soldier killed fighting Germans, 80 Soviet soldiers died fighting them.

“The Immortal Regiment” march, started a decade ago to commemorate the fallen, has become a worldwide tradition. The Russian Interior Ministry reports that this year more than 800,000 joined the Immortal Regiment march in Moscow alone. Today, Immortal Regiment marches take place in 64 countries around the world, and in space.