MOSCOW — Russia commemorated a commemoration Monday, with a re-enactment, of sorts, of a Red Square military parade that happened 70 years ago.
Paraders dressed in World War II style uniforms flowed through Moscow’s Red Square, accompanied by children’s patriotic clubs, historical re-enactors and veterans of the war.
Moscow is still celebrating a 1941 WWII parade 70 years later because of what happened that day — the soldiers who took part in the celebration left the square, and kept marching until they reached the front lines and fell into battle with the invading Germans. Those soldiers, known as the “Defenders of Moscow,” kept the capital from falling into Nazi hands.
At the parade Monday, officers with unsheathed swords led one company. Another unit braved the 20-degree weather in winter white uniforms. Machine guns mounted on carriages were each pulled by four white horses, led by handlers in great coats and classic Red Army “budyonovka” pointed caps. Soldiers in olive drab guided barrage balloons with big red Soviet stars on them. And a mounted troop rode through while the band played the most famous Soviet song to emerge from the war, “Katyusha.”
With the collapse of communism the holiday — which marked the day of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 — went the way of the U.S.S.R. But the current government, which likes to promote Soviet nostalgia whenever it has a chance to, used the 70th anniversary to put the parade back in the square