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Don’t forget how the Soviet Union saved the world from Hitler

By Ishaan Tharoor


In the Western popular imagination — particularly the American one — World War II is a conflict we won. It was fought on the beaches of Normandy and Iwo Jima, through the rubble of recaptured French towns and capped by sepia-toned scenes of joy and young love in New York. It was a victory shaped by the steeliness of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the moral fiber of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and the awesome power of an atomic bomb.

[What V-E Day was like in London for a U.S. airman on leave from the war]

But that narrative shifts dramatically when you go to Russia, where World War II is called the Great Patriotic War and is remembered in a vastly different light.

On May 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin will play host to one of Moscow’s largest ever military parades to mark the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany. More than 16,000 troops will participate, as well 140 aircraft and 190 armored vehicles, including the debut of Russia’s brand new next-generation tank.

It’s a grand moment, but few of the world’s major leaders will be in attendance. The heads of state of India and China


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