Usually, the Victory Day parade is held on 9 May in Russia and several former republics of the Soviet Union. This year, however, the Russian authorities decided to move the event to 24 June amid the severe coronavirus situation.
The date for this year’s parade, however, was chosen for a good reason. The first-ever parade in Moscow to celebrate the defeat of the Nazis in the Second World War took place on this day in 1945, about two months after Germany’s unconditional surrender was signed near Berlin.
The 1945 parade was the longest and the largest to ever be held on Red Square, with 40,000 Red Army soldiers and 1,850 pieces of military hardware participating in it.
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin stood atop Lenin’s Mausoleum and watched the parade, while Marshals Georgy Zhukov, who formally accepted the German surrender to the Soviet Union, and Konstantin Rokossovsky rode through the parade ground on white and black stallions respectively.