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23 Jun, 2020 12:34

As 75th anniversary of first Victory Day parade looms, Russians believe WWII defeat of Nazis was country's finest hour – poll

As 75th anniversary of first Victory Day parade looms, Russians believe WWII defeat of Nazis was country's finest hour – poll

Western critics often knock the Kremlin for overdoing celebrations of Soviet Russia's World War II victory over Nazi Germany. But a new poll suggests most of the public is comfortable with the importance attached to the event.

Ahead of Wednesday's rescheduled Victory Day parade in Moscow, and a number of other major cities, pollsters WCIOM have found that Russians believe the defeat of Hitler, and his allies, trumps all other historical incidents in the more than thousand-year life of the Russian nation.

“The vast majority of Russians (95 percent) agree with the assertion that victory in the Great Patriotic War [World War II] is the main event of the 20th century for Russia,” the polling agency’s statement said. “For 69 percent of Russians, the victory in 1945 is the most important event in [the entirety of Russian history].”

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The study showed that the majority of respondents in every single category were of the same belief, other than the group aged between 18-24. For those aged 60 and above, the vast majority agreed (81 percent).

In the category for those aged 24 and younger, only 44 percent of the respondents agreed that WWII was the most significant event ever, but all who took part in the study were massively in agreement (93 percent) about its place as the most critical event in 20th century history.

Aside from World War II, Russia’s 20th century history has an abundance of noteworthy events. The country also participated in the First World War, before a revolution and a civil war. Soviet Russia put the first man into space, Yuri Gagarin, and attained ‘superpower’ status before the USSR collapsed in 1991.

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On June 24, Moscow will host a military parade on Red Square to commemorate the 75th Jubilee of the victory over Nazi Germany. Initially planned for May 9, the celebrations were moved due to Covid-19. June 24 was designated a national holiday by President Vladimir Putin, and the country will see parties in most major cities.

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