As this past Saturday (May 9th) was the 70th anniversary of Victory Day, aka the victory of Nazi Germany, this year’s parade took on a special meaning in Russia. Even more so, it was the 70th anniversary. So, Moscow and the Moscow Region were promoting the parade like no other; I understand that other cities and regions in Russia celebrated it, but I’m based in Moscow and can only speak from my personal experience. Anyways, this year was a spectacular spectacle for sure! If you’re even in Moscow come May 9th every year, it is something you should see.
As the parade started in the morning, I got up at 7:30 to meet a coworker and her family, who would be meeting us, at 8. Initially, I questioned why on earth would I want to wake up that early on a Saturday, but that was my lazy side talking. We waited a bit, and after about ten minutes or so she arrived. The drive into the city (both my roommate, who also was attending, and I live in the northwestern suburbs) took about 20-25 minutes, and we got to see some other parts of town. Upon arriving, we parked and walked a few more minutes to find the optimal viewing location. Initially, we tried to see if the nearest metro station (Belorusskaya on the green line) would have been best, but it was packed and it frankly was a cluster; it was a mosh pit, essentially. After realizing that this was a bit too congested (which is putting it mildly) with a sub par view, we left and walked further into the city. After looking around a while, we decided to walk further and further until we got to a neighborhood (adjacent to the blue line’s Arbatskaya station) and set roots. However, we got there about an hour and a half early. So, we hung around and people watched until then. Fortunately, our coworker had a live stream of the parade in Red Square, so we got to see the troops (Russian and foreign) march by. Finally, we got to witness the army convoy.
Granted, the view was obstructed thanks to what seemed like most of Moscow being there, but we did get to see both the army and the air force go by. Our location was strategically set up, as we were relatively close (not sure what the exact distance was, but we could make out the Kremlin in the background), so we got to see the vehicles go by. While it naturally was a very nationalist event, even so in light of the year’s events, it was still neat to observe. Heck, I even got to see the new Russian tanks, and they did in fact work. It took about twenty minutes for all the vehicles to pass by our section of the route, but it was well worth the wait.