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Old May 10th, 2015, 01:08 PM   #1
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One thing is missing from Russia’s WWII remembrance — the Allies

I believe Obama did the right thing to skip Russia's Victory Day parade, a military muscle demo straight out of the Soviet days.

One thing is missing from Russia’s WWII remembrance — the Allies

Russia’s vast celebrations Saturday to mark the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany had nearly everything: 16,000 marching soldiers, medal-bedecked veterans and families carrying photographs of those who died long ago.

But conspicuously absent from the memorial of the Soviet Union’s joint victory with the West were the leaders of those wartime allied nations. A year into a conflict in Ukraine that the West says is fueled by the Kremlin, the tribunes in Red Square were stocked with officials from nations that had little association with the Soviet Union’s painful wartime sacrifices. Even some Kremlin critics said they were disappointed by the snub.

A decade ago, President George W. Bush sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin on stands in front of Lenin’s Tomb to observe the 60th anniversary. A decade before that, President Bill Clinton came to Moscow in an emotional post-Cold War visit. But on Saturday, the most prominent visitor’s seat went to Chinese President Xi Jinping, with whom Putin has tried to build bridges as relations with the West have soured because of the war in Ukraine.

In brief remarks on Red Square ahead of a bristling review of Russian firepower that included high-tech new tanks, anti-missile systems and even a few ICBMs, Putin bridged commemoration of the past with anger over the present.

“We are grateful to the people of the United Kingdom and France, and the United States of America for their contribution to this victory,” Putin said, speaking in front of a screen that covered Lenin’s tomb, where the embalmed remains of the founder of the Soviet Union are still on display.

“But during the last decade, the basic fundamental principles of international cooperation were increasingly ignored,” he said. “We saw attempts to set up a unipolar world order. We see the use of force. This kind of mentality undermines global stability.”

Putin has mixed remembrance with harsher modern-day rhetoric during his 15 years in office, expanding what had been a quieter parade in the 1990s into a muscular display of military strength reminiscent of the Soviet era. On Saturday, several new heavy military vehicles rolled through Red Square, the product of an expensive modernization that Russian leaders have bragged will spook the West. Russian state media touted that the new Armata T-14 battle tank, unveiled for the first time for the occasion, “sends shivers down Washington’s spine.”
More: One thing is missing from Russia?s WWII remembrance ? the Allies - The Washington Post
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Old May 10th, 2015, 01:31 PM   #2
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Actually, I was surprised to read this morning that Chancellor Merkel of Germany did attend. I guess they need that Russian gas.
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