May 9th: Yes, it is Russia Victory Day – 2018, the day Nazi Germany signed their surrender to the Russians, having already surrendered to the Allies the day before. If you ask a Russian; who won the Second World War, they will answer; ‘We did’. Well it is a fact but neither side can claim they did it all alone. Nazi Germany lost on two fronts but had they been able to conquer Russia in the early part of WW2, then history might have been very different indeed.
It was a terrible war, a horrific period in history which sadly so many just look at as being a long time ago and give little respect for. In some countries of the developing world, the young have no knowledge at all and with the animosity so often aimed at America through religious doctrine and little else, you will still hear the mass of uneducated blaming the Americans for starting it, yet oddly never the Russians (which neither did of course).
Together yet very much apart the Russians and Allies fought Hitler but never harmoniously if there could be such a state in war. However, each were needed and desperately.
Russia is a vast country and at the time, much of it undeveloped, struggling under a bizarre and ruthless Stalin. If that was not bad enough, the Germans invaded. Some say 26 million dead, others 20 and so on, but whatever the hideous loss, faced with elimination the people of Russia kept coming back and eventually victory was their’s – along with the Allies of course.
To this day, much of the animosity between Russia and what we call the ‘West’ is as a result of the Second World War. Russia annexed as much of Europe as it could in the spoils of war expanding the USSR in a fest of forced communism. Rarely mentioned, but ‘Victory Day’ as a moment of relief as much as glory, was close to being a continuation of the war with the Americans and British turning an ally into an enemy in order to stop this expansion – but a wall was built instead. Not particularly civilized to say the least and unlike Trump’s proposed wall to keep the Mexicans out, the Berlin Wall was put their to the keep the East Germans in.
All this is history and still some animosity remains, but in 2018 the enemy is now the team playing against your favourite team in the World Cup. This is the first time the unmissable spectacular has been hosted in Russia and anywhere East of the border. Moscow rocks and although Victory day is a very serious event to remember, Ambassador Vargiv, couldn’t resist inviting everyone with open arms to Russia for the games. Let’s face it, the Russians will make this one of the best ever for sure, let’s just hope we have some 90’s style class players to justify it.