Status: 07.05.2022 1:01 p.m.
Kremlin President Putin will inspect the traditional victory parade over Hitler’s Germany on Red Square in Moscow. Some believe that it is possible to announce a general mobilization. The Kremlin denies.
Preparations for May 9 have been in full swing in Moscow for days. Balconies are covered in water mist, huge red banners are up. They are removed and dried – and rehearsed. In the evening hours, tanks, combat robots and missile carriers roll through the streets of the Russian capital. Spectators celebrate it enthusiastically.
ARD Studio Moscow
This is of course very impressive, says a young man. Another man, about 50 years old, says: “I think the T-14 Armata is great. It’s a modern machine with an indestructible unit that houses the crew. All the technology is really impressive. We are proud of our country.” Also proud of the letter Z embossed on the vehicles.
“The letter Z stands for Special Operations Support,” says a woman. “To support the decisions of our president. He is our leader. And no one – especially people who live in this country – has the right to question his decisions.”
“The main holiday full of symbolism”
Nothing and no one can overshadow the 9th of May, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasized. And he says: “Victory Day is not just a celebration. Victory Day is a holy day for all Russians, and for all residents of the territory of the former Soviet Union.” “The main holiday, really full of symbolism.”
Precisely for this reason, some are anxiously awaiting the speech of Russian President Vladimir Putin. What if he not only declares war on this symbolic day of the return of fascism, but declares war? What if everyone called to arms?
What do the letters Z and V mean?
They initially attracted attention as markings on Russian tanks and troop vehicles in Ukraine: the Latin letters Z and V. There are numerous attempts to explain what they might mean. One reads: Z as “Zapad” means western forces. And V is like “Vostok” for those in the East.
Then the Russian Ministry of Defense identified the letters as symbols, with the mottos “Za Pobedo” (“For Victory”) and “Silla in Pravdy” (“In truth lies strength”). Now, above all, the letter Z symbolizes the new Russian patriotism and support – from the Russian point of view – the special military operation in Ukraine.
‘We take back what we have’
The Kremlin transfers such rumors to the realm of fantasy. “It’s not true, it’s bullshit,” Pesco says. As with all the talk about the failure of the special military operation in Ukraine to go according to plan.
“We will definitely give back what we have,” says a passerby. He is convinced and advises the West not to doubt Russia’s desire to achieve its goals.
AZ of eight combat aircraft
As if to confirm this, the Ilyushin 80 will fly over Red Square on May 9. The machine, which became known as the doomsday plane, was designed to serve as a flight command center in the event of a nuclear escalation.
And of course the Z shouldn’t be missing in the sky. It consists of eight MiG-29 combat aircraft. The sign can be seen from afar. Also for those who run away on this day because they don’t want to party.
Why does Europe celebrate May 8th, while Russia celebrates May 9th
Russia and most of the former Soviet Union celebrate the end of World War II in Europe on May 9 – unlike the Western Allies, who celebrated the victory over Nazi Germany the day before. This is mainly for technical reasons.
Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, as commander of the Wehrmacht, signed the surrender document only on May 9 – just after midnight. The concert was scheduled for May 8, but the dispute over the Russian version delayed the work.
In general, German and Allied officers twice confirmed the unconditional surrender of Hitler’s Germany with their signatures: on May 7 in Reims, France, and on the night of the 9th in Berlin Karlshurst. The ceasefire has already taken place in Reims for 8 May at 11:00 PM CET. In Moscow it was already 1:00 in the morning on May 9. So the West celebrates the cease-fire, and the former Soviet republics celebrate the surrender.
Getting Ready for May 9: Patriotism Under the Z Sign
Christina Nagel, ARD Moscow, May 7, 2022, 12:12 pm