Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Victory Day Parade in Zaporozhye, Ukraine

Before going to Kiev on reenactment, I visited Zaporozhye, Ukraine and took part in Victory Parade in honor of 9th of May (Victory Day) along the main city street.

The private museum of a retro cars "Phaeton" was point of start for parade basis, set of the Soviet military vehicles. Exactly thanks to director of this museum and an initiative of ordinary people in the city passes remarkable celebration of veterans of Great Patriotic War 1941-1945. 

I will tell about this museum in a separate post. And now let's talk about Victory Day Parade.

I would like to find any special magical words to tell you that occurred this day, on May 9. And it is even better to share directly somehow those memoirs and experiences. By telepathy. But I have to use only usual letters and photos. :)


Our column of military vehicles didn't remain unnoticed. Morning pedestrians and the casual audience on the streets met us very friendly. One guy walking a German shepherd, stood on the roadside and carried out a military greeting while by passed military cars. Looked very lovely, it is a pity didn't manage to do a photo :)


And we moved to a point where other motorists who have arrived on their retro cars and the uniformed participants of parade had to wait us.


On the meeting place it was already crowded. After all people in a uniform and ancient cars always involve in themselves a lot of attention. Especially for May 9.

On an idea veterans and the uniformed participants who could help veterans had to go in cars and trucks. Here people tried to create the correct image. Not all of them are reenactors so don't judge strictly :)



And here the most important began!

Main street of Zaporozhye is Lenin Avenue. Its length is about 11 km. Parade went about 6 km of it. We were going to a place, where parade should begin. On the green spring city. Chestnuts blossomed. Red flags are fluttering on a wind . The jeep in which I went, was equipped with the tape recorder and columns for accompanying us by soviet military music.

Cheerful song finished, and record with the announcement from the Soviet Information bureau about the war began. And, you know, during such moment overflow absolutely inexpressible feelings. Here all you thoughts are covered by such strong feelings, from goosebumps on a back and to a marrow, tears and squeezed teeth. When you go on the green city where people slowly walk on sidewalks in summer clothes, you go in that form. Also you hear: "Attention! Moscow speaks!... Today on June 22 at the 4th o'clock in the morning without declaration of war the German armies attacked our country. Attacked our borders in many places. Also subjected to bombing of the city of Zhitomir, Kiev, Sevastopol, Kaunas and others...."

And fragments of memoirs, front photos,  chronicles are flashing in memory. All of them. It is necessary to feel such emotions at least time! That works like time machine!

And meanwhile we approach to a starting point. Can you see something multi-colored in the distance on this photo? These are people who came to look parade. They were visible even at the very beginning of the avenue! Special platforms were provided here for veterans convenience.

And how many people gathered here to share this holiday with veterans! If only you could see this! People were standing in three - in four rows on both parties of the avenue along of all 6 kilometers of movement of parade. These joyful greetings to veterans! And new people were flowing down to the prospectus from adjoining streets. Though it seemed like all Zaporozhye ALREADY gathered here!

It was pleasant to see joy on faces of people, posters which school students prepared, the red flags flying over crowd, and flags of Ukraine.



What else forces is capable to bring together so many people? Absolutely sincerely. Certainly, various politic parties too were noted by me thanks to their flags, but they simply sank among other audience. From the different parties there were possible to hear different shouts "With the Victory Day reached!", "With a holiday!".


The column went very slowly, with speed of the pedestrian. Also it was stretched, at least, on the whole kilometer!


From time to time procession stopped, policemen passed to cars all who wished, children, school students, adult people. And veterans were simply filled up with flowers! Flowers rolled over through boards of jeeps, and at the end of movement to help veterans to leave cars, it was necessary to remove locks of flowers at first.

After parade on Lenin Avenue the column went to Victory park where festival were continuing. The vehicles were stop on a square and all who wished could examine them and take photos.

Besides, in park reenactors established small camp of  living history: tent, a field-kitchen, a fire on which porridge, a table, some guns, a bag for training of movements of bayonet fight, the telephone line.

The entrance on the territory was forbidden for the audience, but everything was perfectly visible from its borders. It is pleasant that interest didn't cease for several hours while we were in park. It was sometimes heavy to break inside because of a dense cordon of the audience :)





Tthe field-kitchen worked for veterans.

I sincerely believe that this day gave strength to veterans to live one more difficult year. It was just great Victory Day celebration!


  1. Wow! When I grew up in the 1950s-60s the Russians were scary and were going to attack us any minute. In the 1980s they were going to invade though Nicaragua! (See the movie RED DAWN)
    Thanks to the internet and blogs we Americans can see that Russians love their country and their veterans the way we American do.

    What great photos of brave people. Thank you.

    1. Yes, Scott, you're right. Thanks to internet and ability to travel we can communicate with each other and find out how things go in real. Not like someone wants us to think. And it's fantastic!