Kiselev: Russian Liberals Not Pleased With Victory Day Parade; Consider it Meaningless, Militaristic
Let's continue talking about Victory Day. The holiday is usually followed by demands from our irreconcilable liberals, I'd even call them totalitarian, to cancel the military parade.
Leonid Gozman: «Cancel the 9th of May parade. It was meaningless before, but now it's become blasphemous».
It's allegedly become blasphemous after the Superjet crash. We'll address the accident later. What's important now is that Gozman has always considered the 9th of May military parade, the Victory Day Parade, to be meaningless. Next, actor Maxim Vitorgan claims that the current generation has nothing to celebrate: «Our generation has nothing to celebrate. I hope that one day it'll be the day of silence.» Israel honors the memory of the Holocaust victims by a day of silence.
«When the whole country freezes, stops, and thinks».
Vitorgan's words are echoed by Echo of Moscow host Arkady Dubnov: «We must grieve, not celebrate. That's basically a fundamental truth».
And of course, kids wearing military uniform and pilotkas get criticized a lot.
Former mayor of Yekaterinburg Evgeny Roizman: «When they dress small kids in military uniforms, turning it into a party for them, the kids get a false initial impression of war. The day is being turned into a carnival. War is not something that can be turned into a carnival».
As a final titbit, political strategist Gleb Pavlovsky, talking about how terribly militaristic Russia is: “We've militarized this day again. It was much less militarized even in the USSR".
Many people express the same ideas. We have freedom of speech so they're free to spit them out. But how should one treat all that? Let's figure it out in a peaceful manner without judging anyone, not to start an argument but out of sheer curiosity. The matter is important for all of us, our country, and our children. For instance, what's a parade in Russia? What's its purpose? Why is it like that? What about grief? And how militarized are we?
Our military parade is a way to pay our final respects to the warriors who died, sacrificing their lives for our freedom, freedom for Europe and the entire world. It's our final respect to the 27 million who battled the Nazis without regard for their own lives, hence the severe style of our parade and the minute of silence before the march of the troops. Our parade is also a grateful memory of those who survived that gruesome battle but didn't live long enough to see this day. Our parade is also a consolation for those few veterans who are still with us. According to a recent study, there are 76 thousand of them left. Ask any one of them if it's reasonable to hold a parade on the 9th of May. Every one of them will say «yes».
Speaking of Israel's example and the country's day of silence, we respect that but each nation had its own role in that war. Israel honors the memory of the Holocaust victims. There was no Israel back then and the majority of Jews in Europe ended up being victims. They survived the brutal genocide which no Jewish family will ever forget. But Russia had a different experience. Apart from the fact, that the total number of casualties among the peoples of the USSR was far greater than the number of Holocaust victims, we, as a mighty state, managed to become the organized force that stopped the Nazis and smashed them, defeated them.
That's why we are the multi-ethnic victor nation, which was the Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, the peoples of the Caucasus, Central Asia, Siberia, and Jews fought in our ranks too. In addition, apart from the day of silence Israel also holds one of the largest foreign Immortal Regiment marches. We, the descendants of the victors, don't intend to forget our triumph. We'll be reminding others that we were fighting the army and system that was driven by the wild idea of racial superiority.
Those are the reasons we hold a parade and the aspects that form its style. The latter, by the way, was shaped by the victorious warriors themselves at the 1945 Victory Parade. There's no reason to change it fundamentally.
Now, speaking of the militarization complaints. Russia's military expenditures are decreasing. Since 2018, Russia no longer ranks among the world’s top five defense spending countries. According to the data provided by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute SIPRI its 2018 research showed that the USA has the world's largest military budget. It's followed by China, Saudi Arabia, India, and France. Russia is only sixth. At the same time, our advanced military technologies have proven to be unattainable for others, including the USA, whose military budget is ten times bigger than ours. They spend the largest amount of money. We're the leader in technology which inspires confidence without any kind of militarist frenzy.
And speaking of the kids wearing military uniform and pilotkas. That's wonderful. Kids around the world tend to try on adult roles. Girls happily waddle wearing their moms' shoes and boys enjoy pulling on their dads' wader boots. So what? Shall we cancel the New Year Masquerade and kids holidays in general where they get to dress as astronauts, chefs, policemen, doctors, princesses, and pirates? Why are the costumes of Spider-Man of the American Superman are fine but the costumes of their own heroic grandfathers are bad? That's the way memory is conveyed and kids get interested in true, actual history, including the history of their family. Shall we only have unicorns, Pikachu, and Spider-Man onesies? And why are their complaints limited to Russia alone? They should also demand that America cancel kids' cowboy hats? Nobody's doing that for some reason. Dressing up in WWII military uniforms is a way that kids can build a generational bridge. Nothing about that can negatively affect the kids' mental state. On the contrary, the kids feel that they're part of their family memory. It's a priceless thing. Same as marching in an Immortal Regiment formation with the adults. That's the way the energy of one generation is transferred to the next.
That's why Victory Day is so important for all of us. We'll be celebrating it forever, regardless of what others say.