The Truth About Russia’s May 9th, Victory Day
One of the two days Russia uses to claim it’s a great nation, victory never really happened
Usually, on May 9th I am in a park not far from what used to be my home in St. Petersburg. I head up there early, long before my guests will arrive, to prepare the portable smoker.
Weather permitting, a long day of bocce ball accompanied by Bruce Springsteen music, radishes, and cold beer would be awaiting me. The park I refer to is located less than a mile from the sprawling mass graves filled with the tragedy of Nazi Germany’s 900-day blockade of Leningrad. Over a million souls lie under the beautifully manicured and peaceful park.
I have paid my respects to these lost souls so many times over the twenty-seven years I lived in St. Petersburg that I almost feel like some of them were friends of mine.
On January 27, 1944, the “siege of Leningrad,” as it is called officially, ended. Quite coincidentally, my son was born on January 27th many years later. Something about that makes me think those souls are appreciative of the efforts I made over the years to honor them. It also makes me feel like something about me is spiritually linked to that city.
This little snippet of May 9th is something none of you reading this would ever have heard about if not for Vladimir Putin’s decision to commit crimes against humanity, Ukrainians more precisely, when he invaded. The previously anonymous celebrations that I and many millions of Russians have enjoyed with family and friends were good, wholesome, and unifying affairs that in the West no one had any idea were taking place.
Russia celebrates “The Victory over Fascist Germany Day” like it happened yesterday. It is one of the two great accomplishments of the Soviet Union manipulated for uniting Russians.