Russia marks end of World War II and remembers millions who died

World Today

Russia’s president promised to keep the military strong but said Moscow is ready to cooperate with anyone opposed to terrorism. His comments come at ceremonies marking the end of World War II.

Huge crowds turned out to celebrate Russia’s victocy, and remember the millions who died.

CGTN’s Julia Chapman reports from the Victory Day parade in Moscow.

A procession of troops and tanks through Moscow’s Red Square — this is remembrance on a colossal scale. Victory Day is one of Russia’s most important annual events as the country celebrates its World War II glory.

“Congratulations on Victory Day, the day of our pride and grief and of our boundless gratitude to the defenders of the Fatherland who crushed Nazism,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told the crowd. “They are all on the pedestal of the tremendous Victory.”

More than 20 million Soviet soldiers and civilians were killed in the conflict. Hardly any family was left unscarred, so hundreds of thousands take to the street every year, honoring relatives who were lost. But for Russians, this isn’t just a somber occasion to remember the dead. Victory Day is a celebration of the Soviet Union’s greatest triumph and a reminder of the country’s modern military might.

The day’s growing grandiosity has come under some criticism, sparking accusations of jingoism, but in Russia, Victory Day inspires national pride, and no one is too young to enjoy it.