Victory Day in Russia
Victory Day in Russia is celebrated on May 9 and is the country’s second most popular public holiday after New Year’s Day.
The holiday marks the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union in the Second World War in 1945. Unlike Europe where it is celebrated on May 8, Victory Day in Russia is celebrated on May 9 as Germany’s surrender was signed late in the evening on May 8, 1945 when it was already May 9 in Russia.
Victory Day in Russia commemorates millions of people who lost their lives in the Second World War, known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War, and honors the bravery of Russian soldiers and Russian people on the whole whose heroism saved the country from Nazi invaders. It is estimated that the USSR lost about 25 million citizens in the four years of fighting.
On this day celebrations and commemorative events are held all across Russia, with military parades taking place in the country’s major cities, the most spectacular one in Moscow’s Red Square.
Victory Day in Russia is a sacred holiday for Russians who often say that there is not a single family in the country who did not lose someone in that war.
South Africa joins the world in remembering the end of World War II
10 May 2015
South Africa joined the world on Saturday in commemorating 70 years since the end of the 2nd World War in 1945 and the defeat of fascism.
President Jacob Zuma joined other Heads of State and Government in Moscow, Russia to celebrate the Great Patriotic War, which commemorates the defeat of Nazi Germany and marked the end of World War II in 1945. President Zuma arrived in Moscow on Friday ahead of the celebrations.
The President said South Africa contributed to World War II.
"This is an important occasion as it marks a significant period in the history of the world, the defeat of fascism and Nazism.
“It is 70 years since the end of the war and 70 years since the formation of the United Nations. Today we recall the promise that had been made to the oppressed African majority during the war by the then South African authorities, that the post-world war order would include self-determination for the oppressed in South Africa.
“It was not to be. It took a few more decades to achieve our freedom and we are delighted that we in the end triumphed against the evil that was apartheid and colonialism," said President Zuma.
South Africa is also celebrating the historic achievement of having produced a landmark bill of rights during the war, which pre-dated the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the form of the African Claims document.
The African Claims document, which is regarded as the country's own version of the Atlantic Charter of the victorious nations, was drawn up after due deliberations by a special committee of the African National Congress (ANC).
It was adopted by the annual conference of the ANC in Bloemfontein, on the 16th of December, 1943.
President Zuma said South Africa today also salutes the men and women who drew up the African Claims document. They laid the foundation for the Freedom Charter and also the country's progressive Constitution.
"With the celebration of 70 years since the end of the war and 70 years since the formation of the UN, the spotlight falls on the shape of the world order currently, especially the exclusion of Africa from the permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
“The time has come therefore, for the world to seriously reflect on this exclusion of Africa yet again, 70 years on, and seriously discuss the question of the meaningful reform of the UN Security Council, as we commemorate the contribution of Africa to the war against fascism," he said.
He further said South Africa would continue working for a better Africa and a better world in memory of all our people who contributed to the war against fascism and those who fought relentlessly in the struggle against apartheid colonialism in the country.-SAnews.gov.za
Photos: GCIS and Russia Pool pics