From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not Much
Mains level : WW2 and related stories
Raksha Mantri is on a three-day trip to Russia to attend the 75th Victory Day. India has sent a tri-services contingent to participate in the Victory Day Parade.
Try these questions from CS Mains:
Q.To what extent can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically. (CSM 2015)
Q.The New Economic Policy – 1921 of Lenin had influenced the policies adopted by India soon after independence. Evaluate. (CSM 2014)
What is Victory Day?
- Victory Day marks the end of World War II and the victory of the Allied Forces in 1945.
- Adolf Hitler had shot himself on April 30. On May 7, German troops surrendered, which was formally accepted the next day and came into effect on May 9.
- In most European countries, it is celebrated on May 8 and is called the Victory in Europe Day.
Why does Russia not celebrate Victory Day on the same date?
- The erstwhile Soviet Union had not wanted the surrender to take place in the west and wanted that such a significant event should reflect the contribution of the Red Army and the Soviet population.
- According to historians, Joseph Stalin, premier of the Soviet Union, wanted Germany to also sign surrender in Berlin.
- Since crowds were already gathering in London to celebrate, Victory in Europe Day celebration in Britain would take place on 8 May, as they did in the United States.
- This did not convince Stalin, who argued that Soviet troops were still fighting the German forces in many areas.
- German soldiers did not surrender in East Prussia, Courland Peninsula, Czechoslovakia till later. Hence victory celebration could therefore not begin in the Soviet Union even after May 9.
If May 9 is Victory Day, why is it being celebrated on June 24?
- This year, the celebrations this year were pushed to June because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- After winning the war and having its own Victory Day on May 9, Stalin wanted to commemorate the victory with a military parade.
- On June 22, 1945, he ordered the commemoration of the victory over Germany to hold the victory parade on June 24, 1945, in Moscow’s Red Square.
- Hence the first Victory Day Parade took place on June 24 in Moscow. However, since then, the Parades have taken place on May 9.