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The 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazism did not pass without «Victory madness»

On May 9, Ukraine celebrated the Victory Day over Nazism in World War II at the state level. On the eve, Prime Minister, Denys Shmygal said that due to quarantine, Ukraine refused to hold mass events, and veterans were congratulated individually. However, on May 9, according to the National Police, 290 events were held in Ukraine with the laying of flowers and 50 rally on cars. Thus, on the morning of May 9 the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky was one of the first who laid flowers at the Eternal Fire in the Park of Glory, in Kyiv. In the morning, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), Metropolitan Onufriy, served a memorial service on the occasion of the victory over Nazism in World War II in the Park of Glory. He and about 10 priests and monks also laid flowers at the Eternal Fire. The MP from the opposition Vadim Novinsky joined them and after the service, they all went to the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. Among the isolated violations in Kyiv were the use of symbols of totalitarian regimes (Soviet and Nazi), which is prohibited by law in Ukraine.

The MP from the «Opposition Platform — For Life» Nestor Shufrych, having come with party members to lay flowers at the Eternal Fire, told reporters that he stands for the abolition of the ban on the «St. George» (guards) ribbon and other Soviet military symbols, since the Ukrainian people are the victorious people in World War II, and Soviet symbols Shufrych refers to the symbols of victory. The MP said that he had made a corresponding legislative initiative. After laying flowers, MPs from «Opposition Platform — For Life» organized a rally on rare cars since World War II. Moreover the leaders of the faction Viktor Medvedchuk and Yuriy Boyko were driving on reconstructed American military vehicles «Willis».

Several rallies on cars were held in Kharkiv on May 9: two of them were organized by the parties «Opposition Platform — For Life» and «Party of Shariy». The third rally used rare cars, red flags and Soviet military uniforms. One of the rally on cars was organized by veterans of the ATO/JFO and volunteers with Ukrainian symbols. Also, «Opposition Platform — For Life» in Kharkiv held a procession «Immortal Regiment», which finished at the local Memorial of Glory. At the same time, dozens of Kharkiv residents, in particular volunteers and veterans of the Ukrainian-Russian war, went to the volunteer tent on the main square of the city for an informal action – for a united Ukraine and against Russian armed aggression. In the Dnipro and Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the National Police counted 11 rally on cars involving more than two hundred cars. Some of them were carried out by opposition politicians. One of them, Oleksandr Vilkul, marked the car of the rally headed by him with his name and flags with the inscription «Great Victory».

In Odessa, activists and the National Police stopped a rally in honor of May 9 because of the Soviet symbols and violations of the requirements of quarantine. The rally in honor of the memorable date was held by the party «Opposition Platform — For Life». Several dozen cars  of the «Opposition Platform — For Life» were blocked by police and activists at the Odessa Sea Station. The police also detained a video streamer from among the pro-Russian activists there. During his detention, he chanted pro-Russian slogans. Also, there was another provocation on the night of May 9: unknown people painted a stele with the city's coat of arms (on the way to the airport) in colors of «St. George's ribbon».  A rally of cars of a pro-Russian organization «Victory Regiment» took place in Zaporizhia, which was headed by local politician Andriy Ivanov. Dozens of cars had red flags on them. They drove through the center of the city, but they had a quarrel with participants of another, pro-Ukrainian rally on cars.[1]

Meanwhile, Russia also celebrated Victory Day, despite the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic and increase in the number of infected people. The Russians, in particular, brought heavy equipment to Red Square and staged a color show with military aircraft. Russian President, Vladimir Putin traditionally laid flowers at the Monument to the Liberators. Together with the official part of the parade, an annual event «Immortal Regiment» was held in Russia  with a significant cluster of citizens, despite the current quarantine restrictions.[2]

But Belarus surpassed all this year. A military parade was held in Minsk on May 9 to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. About three thousand military personnel and more than 150 units of equipment took part in the parade. 36 planes and helicopters flew over the capital of Belarus. The parade was attended by the Minister of Defense of the state, Victor Granin. Thousands of spectators gathered in the center of the Belarusian capital to watch the parade. President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko also watched the parade. "Let this year's military parade in Minsk be the only one in the post-Soviet space, it will be held in honor of all the Soviet soldiers who liberated the world from Nazism," he stressed in his speech. He added that, obviously, many people will criticize the place and time of the parade, but in his state they "simply could not do otherwise" than to hold this "sacred action". "We bow before the Russians and Belarusians, Ukrainians and Jews, Tatars and Kazakhs, Tajiks and Uzbeks, Kirghiz and Turkmen, Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Moldovans, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians. All residents of the Soviet Union, fighters of the European resistance movement, our allies - the United States, Great Britain and China," Lukashenko was quoted by «Interfax» news agency. According to Lukashenko, the world ignores the tragic lessons of the past and becomes more aggressive and dangerous. Lukashenko said that the parade in Belarus is "not a demonstration of strength, but a day of remembrance of our heroic history".[3]

The 75th anniversary of the victory should have become an even more powerful and large-scale event for crazy fans of the Victory Day celebration, if not for the outbreak of coronavirus disease in the world. Even Russia, which grandly celebrates May 9 every year, was relatively restrained, unlike Belarus, which celebrated Victory Day with sweeping. However, this day did not pass without provocations in Ukraine, including the custom-made actions of deputies from the «Opposition Platform — For Life» in the cities of Ukraine, which organized rallies on cars using prohibited symbols. As always pro-Russian forces in Ukraine led by the pro-Kremlin party «Opposition Platform — For Life» did not hesitate to take advantage of the anniversary of the victory over Nazism to demonstrate the belonging of many Ukrainian cities to the so-called «Russian world».


[1]Як пройшло 9 травня в українських містах – огляд:

[3]У Мінську провели військовий парад попри епідемію коронавірусу:у-мінську-провели-військовий-парад-попри-епідемію-коронавірусу/a-53378970