Based in London; Formerly of New York, Buenos Aires, Fife, and the Western Cape. Saoránach d'Éirinn.
A writer, blogger, historian, and web designer born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, and now based in London. read more

Victory Day in Moscow

I recently discovered that we receive the television channel Russia Today in our humble little flat here in Stellenbosch, and have spent the past few days enjoying it. They are shockingly truthful (almost nasty) in their reporting of international relations, in so far as the truth — for the moment — tends to favour the Russian case in world affairs, and make NATO look like a bunch of ninnies. Saturday — May 9 — was Victory Day in Russia, in which the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War is commemorated and celebrated. RT showed many minutes of splendid highlights from the great parade in Red Square, and I just sat and enjoyed it.

The Russkies still know how to do a military march-past and make it look impressive.

The President and the Prime Minister enjoyed the spectacle, which included a display of some of the latest of Russia’s investment in defense technology. No doubt there was also a bit of schadenfreude, as Mikhail Saakashvili — the fatuous and incompetent US-backed president of neighbouring Georgia who provoked a military conflict with Russia last year — was simultaneously observing massive opposition-led demonstrations against his autocratic rule in the capital of the Caucasian republic.

The best part of the parade for me was the impressive aeronautical display by the Russian Air Force. Here two larger planes accompanied by jet fighters time their refueling demonstration for their appearance over Red Square.

More aeronauticual displays.

Here a radar plane flies in behind one of the Kremlin cathedrals. I was tempted to entitle this one “The reactionary tendency in Russian architecture has led airports to design control towers in the form of traditional onion domes”.

This post was published on Monday, May 11th, 2009 1:57 pm. It has been categorised under Military Russia and been tagged under , , .
11 May 2009 2:20 pm

Beautiful pictures! Thanks for posting these.

11 May 2009 3:01 pm

It’s good to see the Czarist like flag in the first photo rather than the red star.

Robert Harrington
11 May 2009 4:35 pm

The Russians lost an estimated 26 million in World War II, massive!

What’s often forgotten is that the number of Russians that fought against the Soviets. There was the “Russian Liberation Army” that actually turned against the Germans and aided the Czech rebels during the Prague uprising.

Then there was Kaminsky who commanded 20,000 men fighting alongside the Germans in his “Russian National Liberation Army”.

The “Russian Corps” in Serbia had 17,000 men (10,000 of whom died fighting Tito’s Partisans).

The “Russian National People’s Army” & the Druzhina Brigade had 8,000 troops each.

There was the “1st Russian National Army” that took refuge in Liechtenstein, whose princely ruler refused to extradite them back to the Soviet Union for mass execution.

Kaminski sent over a thousand of his men to help the Nazis put down the Warsaw uprising and they behaved appallingly. (Kaminsky gave them specific permission to rape and loot). His men behaved so bad that Himmler (Himmler!) had Kaminsky court-martialled and shot.

If you include look beyond the Russians to include other Soviet people, its been estimated that over a million people living in the Soviet Union took up arms to fight with the Germans.

The Ukrainian Liberation Army provided about 80,000 soldiers for the Germans at its peak, and at the end of the war the Allied Polish general Wladyslaw Anders (like the Prince of Liechtenstein) helped save them from mass execution at the hands of the Soviets.

Andrew Cusack
11 May 2009 4:58 pm

“at the end of the war the Allied Polish general Wladyslaw Anders (like the Prince of Liechtenstein) helped save them from mass execution at the hands of the Soviets.”

An example of Christian solidarity and forgiveness of one’s enemies that deserves to be remembered.

Matthew Cusack
11 May 2009 10:42 pm


It is called a “Pass in Review” for the ground
troops and a “Fly Over” for the Air Forces.
At least that is what it is at the Brigade or Division level here. Not sure what it might be at the “Army” level.


Steve M
12 May 2009 12:56 am

I am glad you held off on the “reactionary tendency” headline–it would be more suitable for The Onion.

13 May 2009 8:45 am

Genuinely gorgeous!

Dino Marcantonio
15 May 2009 8:08 pm

Saakashvili, tie-eating graduate of Columbia Law, is the autocrat, while Putin, graduate of KGB academies and former NKVD agent, is the enlightened statesman? Andrew, I can see that South Africa has done you no good so far.
Cheers from NYC.

Andrew Cusack
20 May 2009 7:45 pm

My dear Dino, you will by now have no doubt re-read what I have written and seen that nowhere have I referred to Mr. Putin as an enlightened statesman!

I merely pointed out Mr. Saakashvili’s poorer points. Whatever one might think of Putin & co., fatuous and incompetent they are not.

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