FACTBOX: Key facts and figures about Russia’s Victory Day

MOSCOW:  Russia annually celebrates May 9 as Victory Day. At 12:43 a.m. Moscow time on May 9, 1945, the Instrument of Unconditional Surrende...


MOSCOW:  Russia annually celebrates May 9 as Victory Day. At 12:43 a.m. Moscow time on May 9, 1945, the Instrument of Unconditional Surrender of Nazi Germany was signed, which ended the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War.

TASS has put together key facts and figures about Victory Day

Memorable date

Russia celebrates Victory Day pursuant to the Federal Law "On Days of Military Glory and Memorable Dates of Russia" signed by Russian President Boris Yeltsin on March 13, 1995. Initially, the date was set by a decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet of May 8, 1945. In 1945-1947, it was a day-off and then declared a working day (by a decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet of December 23, 1947) and in 1965 it again became a day-off (pursuant to a decree by the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet of April 25, 1965).

The procedure of celebrating Victory Day is set forth in the Federal Law of May 19, 1995 "On Immortalizing the Victory of the Soviet People in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War." Pursuant to this law, military parades involving armaments and military hardware and artillery fireworks are held on May 9 in Moscow, hero cities and cities accommodating headquarters of military districts, fleets, combined arms armies and the Caspian flotilla.


In addition, festive processions, gatherings, assemblies and reception ceremonies are held across Russia on May 9 to honor veterans of the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War.

In 2020, all festive events in Moscow were put off or transformed into the online format due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, except for the fly-past and fireworks. The military parade on Moscow’s Red Square took place on June 24 that year.

In 2023-2024, May 9 Victory Day parades were cancelled in some Russian regions for security reasons.

War casualties

The Soviet Union lost around 27 million people during the Great Patriotic War (40% of all human losses in World War II), with civilian deaths accounting for the larger part of these losses. According to data of the Extraordinary State Commission for the Establishment and Investigation of Atrocities of the German Fascist Invaders, the German troops destroyed fully or partially over 1,700 cities and towns, more than 70,000 villages and settlements in the USSR. Direct damage to the state and the population amounted to 679 billion rubles in 1941 prices.

Heroes of the Soviet Union

A total of 11,657 people were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union for heroic deeds during the Great Patriotic War (3,051 of them posthumously), including 95 women and 44 foreign nationals. Of this number, 159 people were bestowed with this title twice, including 154 individuals who received this award two times, three people who were awarded it three times (fighter pilots Ivan Kozhedub and Alexander Pokryshkin and military commander Semyon Budyonny) and two people who were awarded it four times (military commander Georgy Zhukov and CPSU Central Committee Secretary General Leonid Brezhnev). Diving specialist, Captain 3rd Rank Leonid Solodkov became the last Hero of the Soviet Union on December 24, 1991.

As of May 8, 2024, Soviet lawyer and statesman Boris Kravtsov (Moscow) is the last of the living Heroes of the Soviet Union who was awarded this title during the Great Patriotic War. In 2008, Soviet artillerist Pavel Syutkin living in Sochi in the Krasnodar Region became the last Hero of Russia who received this title in his lifetime for heroic deeds during the Great Patriotic War.

War veterans

According to data of Russian Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Protection Olga Batalina, there were over 14,500 participants and disabled veterans of the Great Patriotic War living in Russia in early 2024, and also 608,500 war veterans who included home front workers, widows of disabled veterans and war participants, former concentration camp prisoners, residents of besieged Leningrad (currently St. Petersburg) and Sevastopol, and also residents of besieged Stalingrad who received this status in April 2023.


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Local Glob: FACTBOX: Key facts and figures about Russia’s Victory Day
FACTBOX: Key facts and figures about Russia’s Victory Day
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