Moscow’s Red Square hosted a ceremonial march-past dedicated to the 7 November 1941 military parade. The event included 5,000 people, as about 7,000 spectators, including Great Patriotic War veterans and participants in the 1941 parade and the 1945 Victory Parade, looked on.
“I congratulate you on the 77th anniversary of the glorious 7 November 1941 military parade on Red Square that became an eternal symbol of courage and devotion. In the autumn of 1941, the call went out: ‘Everything for the front and for victory.’ At that time, Muscovites did not see this as empty words because victory spelled freedom and life, and defeat would have led to infamy, destruction and utter ruin. In defeating the enemy close to Moscow, we took the first and most difficult step towards victory over Nazism,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.
On 7 November, everyone must honour the memory of those who defended the capital, he added.
“Today, we remember Red Army commanders and soldiers who did not flinch in the face of the most powerful army in the world, we remember members of the Volunteer Corps and cadets who fought to the last man near Kryukovo and Vyazma; we remember women, old people and children who dug trenches in snow and rain. We also remember engineers and workers who stood at lathes for 16 hours every day,” Mr Sobyanin noted.
Historical reenactment and open-air museum
At 10 am, a historical reenactment began on Red Square, with spectators watching volunteers leave for the front. After that, the cavalry unit of the Presidential Regiment of the Russian Federal Guard Service rode past the grandstands, followed by the Defence Ministry’s historical companies, cadets from Moscow’s Suvorov Military School and Khalilov Suvorov Military Music College, other cadets and reenactors.
After the march-past, Red Square became an open-air museum featuring military equipment used during the Great Patriotic War. The display closed at 5 pm.
The way it was 77 years ago
The 1941 parade involved over 28,000 officers and soldiers who redeployed to the front after the event.
“Seventy-seven years is a lot, but memory of the Battle of Moscow does not fade. I am confident that, like us, posterity will remember the actions of the heroes who defended Moscow, as well as millions of seemingly ordinary and unheroic people who safeguarded Moscow in the autumn of 1941,” Mr Sobyanin added.
The symbolic 7 November 1941 parade showed that Soviet soldiers had no intention of giving up, and that they were ready for the decisive Battle of Moscow. At that time, the frontline was only a few dozen kilometres from the city.