May 9 – the Day of Victory in the Great Patriotic War


On 9 May Russia celebrates the 77th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War between the USSR and the Nazi Germany, that raged from 22 June, 1941, to 9 May, 1945, and formed part of the Second World War.

In our country not a single family was spared by the war. Representatives of all republics of the Soviet Union made their contribution to the Great Victory, fought side by side together, both on the frontlines and in the rear. Without their heroism and valour, it would have been impossible to stop and destroy the enemy.

For Russians and many people around the world 9 May remains the most sacred holiday. It is a day of glory, a day of pride for our people, and a day of the utmost respect for the generation of winners.

On this day a grand parade on the Red Square and a wreath laying ceremony at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier are held.

The march of the Immortal Regiment, a civil initiative to cherish the memory of the Victory and of those who sacrificed their lives to achieve it, takes place in Russia and in many other States as well.

This tradition has acquired a truly global dimension, with the participation of hundreds of thousands of Russians, our compatriots abroad and citizens of other countries.

In the days prior to and on 9 May Russians traditionally wear the St. George’s Ribbon, a hallmark of the Great Patriotic War victory celebrations.

The tragedy of World War II is a vivid reminder of what a betrayal of the principle of equal and indivisible security and a feeling of superiority can lead to. It was through enormous sacrifice and huge losses, above all of the Soviet peoples, that Nazism was defeated, and our civilisation was saved. The largest and decisive WWII battles took place on the territory of the USSR.

The Nazi Germany planned to destroy all peoples that they considered inferior. They have committed inhuman war crimes. The Holocaust spread to the occupied territories of the Soviet Union and reached a truly disastrous scale.

The Nazis and their collaborators, primarily Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian, took part in the genocide of the Soviet people and committed massacres of Russians, Belarusians, Gypsies, and representatives of other nationalities.

Almost 27 million Soviet citizens perished defending their Motherland and ridding the world of the ‘brown plague’.

Yet, certain States are trying to force the current generation to forget about the heroic deeds of Soviet soldiers who liberated the world from Nazism. Some countries are waging war against Soviet-era memorials which is a graphic example of history’s falsification by erasing and distorting it.

The attempts to falsify history and glorify Nazi accomplices at the government level has resulted in the loss of moral guidelines in society, rampant behaviour by right-wing radical groups, and the feeling of complete impunity of the criminals who commit such atrocities.

Russia firmly rejects the attempts to rewrite history and the creeping rehabilitation of Nazism. Every year Russia submits a draft resolution to the General Assembly on combatting the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, which was once again adopted on 16 December 2021, at a plenary meeting of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly. This document was approved by an impressive majority of votes: 130 countries voted in favour, two countries (the US and Ukraine) traditionally voted against it and 49 countries, including members of the European Union, abstained.

The memory of those who fell in battle fighting the enemies will remain alive as long as we mark the Victory Day – the day of salvation and liberation. It is our sacred duty to safeguard the truth about what happened during those years, and about the common struggle to free the world from Nazism for present and future generations, to deter a relapse of the ideology of hatred and extremism. We should remember the grim lessons of war in order to prevent such tragedies from repeating in the future.

Yury Materiy

Ambassador of Russia