Friday, May 09, 2014

Why victory Day in Russia is Such a Big Ass Deal

Today is Victory Day in Russia.  Which is when the Soviet Union and now Russia celebrate the end of the War against Nazi Germany.
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Moscow's Greatest Generation Reminisces 

This is a massive deal in Russia in a way we can't understand in the States.  Just like those in Russia will never totally understand the Civil War in the United States.
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To understand, let's look at our own memories of World War II.  We consider the World War Two generation "The Greatest Generation" who fought to save world from Hitler.
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(using Wikipedia numbers) Out of an American Population of 131,000,000, over 418,000 people died in the war.
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In the Soviet Union, out of 168,000,000 people ~ 21,000,000 died in the war.  Almost 14% of the population was killed.  And almost everyone was affected directly.  The Germans conquered vast swathes of territory, burning and destroying everything.  The United States was spared nearly all of that.
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We all remember Pearl Harbor, which was one attack.  But in Russia, city after city feel and Leningrad / St. Petersburg suffered a 2 year siege.
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So while we might be tempted today to chalk all this nationalism up to Russia beating it's chest at Ukraine, in reality - this is an nearly Holy day in Russia.  It was promoted during the times when the Church wasn't allowed to preach fully - and this day was their national holiday.
The Army in Red Square (Moscow)

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