Victory Day in Minsk

Article published on May 17, 2009
Article published on May 17, 2009
© Cristina Álvarez, specially for Minsk Cafe Babel View on the Great Patriotic War Museum, center Minsk, the slogan is "People's exploit does live in centuries" Victory Day on May 9 is one of the biggest events in Belarus.
While European Union celebrates the Day of Europe, when in 1950 Robert Schuman presented his proposal to create an organiced Europe after decades of wars and inestability in the old continent, in Belarus and Russia the date that the Soviet Army defeated the Fascist troops in 1945 is honoured with all majesty.

Preparing the city for the Victory day


Concert hall named "Republic Palace" in center of Minsk

The week before, they have been cleaning and decorating the city, puting USSR slogans everywhere, playing war films on tv to prepare citizens to the day of the “national pride”. War veterans, martial music, red flags with USSR symbols, portraits of Stalin and Lenin, and a lot of flowers to remember the Belarusian people who died during long years of battles.

The official events with Alexander Loukashenko participating

9may2009minsk15.jpg At Victory Square in Minsk (Ploshcha Peramogi in Belarusian and Ploshad Pobedy in Russian) it was celebrated one of the most important events, but across the capital many others took place too, with parades and concerts. There, different forces of the Belorusian Army were assembled to meet the President, Soviet war music sounded on the megaphones and national flags fluttered close to the large obelisk with the sickle and the hammer plaque, that still remembers the old times. Around 13.00 Belarusian President arrived in the square, received with all honours. He put flowers in the obelisk, made a speech about the importance of this victory and thanked veterans for their effort.

Obelisk in middle of Victory square






Eternal Flame


Victory Day is a celebration that extremely praises the USSR and Soviet Army values: patriotism, courage, “We won”... are slogans easy to find everywhere during this day. But veterans are the most impressive, in the end, forgetting all the propaganda of this ceremony, it’s a date dedicated to whom fighted in the Great Patriotic War from 1941 to 1945 and are still alive, to whom died then and to their families, who put flowers in the Eternal Flame to remember them.



9may2009minsk8.jpgAmong the people, it’s possible to meet very different persons: a man who distributed copies with the photo of Stalin, or an old woman who spoke about the importance of God and the horrors of the war.


After the official event

After the official event, in all parks across the city different concerts took place, families went for a walk with their veterans, and some citizens gave them flowers. At 22.00, colourful fireworks closed a very intense day in Minsk.