May 9th is coming up, and huge celebrations are set in the streets of Russia for their annual May 9 Victory Day Parade. As always, the Russians have plans to push through with their parade at the Red Square this year. There’s a catch, though – reports claim that the parade’s military participants will be down by almost 35%.

We have discussed the historical origins of the yearly military parade in our “Ukrainian Infantry Day” celebration article, where we compared the origins of the two. As the name suggests, the Victory Day Parade is a celebration and commemoration of the Soviet win against Nazi Germany in World War II. It was originally made a national holiday by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. It was continuously embedded in the Russian psyche throughout the decades, from Yeltsin to Putin, who takes large pride in their military capabilities.

Military observers familiar with the parade will know that this is the event where new Russian weapons (or those in development) are shown off to the public and for the world to see. This is done to let the world know that they are actively developing weapons, posturing their supposed “great military” with “superior” weaponry, as the majority of Russian fanatics would claim.

From a more societal perspective, these parades are done to remember history collectively as one nation, as all countries do in some form or way, albeit in different forms. Russia’s way of connecting its past to the current generation is through these parades. Russian commanders have also said that the parades were celebrations for the Russian people and not necessarily a show of strong militarism.