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8 May, 2008 04:05

Europe celebrates victory over Nazism

Western Europe marks the victory over Nazi Germany on Thursday. On May 8, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender on the outskirts of Berlin – the historic event which marks the end of World War Two.

On that date, which was later called Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day), massive celebrations took place all over Europe. And nowadays people are commemorating war victims and paying tribute to those dead.

In Russia, Victory Day is celebrated on May 9 because of the time difference. One of the country's biggest national holidays, it is marked with traditional military parades in Moscow’s Red Square and all over the country, as well as public concerts and fireworks.

WW2 was the deadliest conflict in history and the Soviet Union suffered the heaviest casualties of any nation. Almost every family in the country was affected.

On Thursday, Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin laid wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier in the centre of Moscow. A minute's silence was observed in commemoration of those who killed during WW2.