The ghosts of past wars live on in Russia’s Victory Day

Victory Day has become the main secular holiday in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. It is also an occasion for the government to showcase Russia’s military might and rally people around the flag. This year, the authorities used the celebration to bolster public support for the war in Ukraine, which they described as a necessary measure designed to "denazify" the country and prevent an imminent attack on Russian soil.

“Here in Leningrad people were dying of hunger during the blockade. We don’t want that to happen again,” says 31-year-old Valery. He was explaining the reasons why he supported Russia’s “special military operation” against Ukraine. Valery was among the tens of thousands of people who took to the streets of St. Petersburg to celebrate May 9th, or, as it is called in Russia, Victory Day.

July 14, 2022 - Adam Reichardt