May 9th, 2015

Groovy Kol

Vova's lonesome party

The victory parade in Moscow hasn't changed its rituals since the time of Brezhnev and Krushchev, it seems. The minister of defense, adorned in medals and epaulets like a Christmas tree, greeted the soldiers from his cabriolet; high officers from the various types of military formations marched in procession alongside spectacular war machines, and Dear Leader gave an inspiring speech.

However, you needn't even look too closely to notice that some other things are back from the Cold War as well: although this was the 70th anniversary of the victory in WW2, the main allies (UK, USA, France) did not send their representatives to stand beside Putin. All of them had said, some direcly, others under various pretexts, that their decision not to come to Moscow was a consequence of Russia's aggression in Ukraine. So this was the first victory jubilee to lack any leaders from allied countries (China doesn't count).

The celebration of the victory over Nazism (which actually happened on May 8 when the war was de facto over, while Germany finally surrendered the next day), is happening at a time when relations are tense, the situation in Ukraine remains unstable, and the international community is divided - with symbols that some worship, while others reject.

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