Let me be the first to wish everyone Happy Victory Day--Den' pobedy in the Russian language. May 9 is the day on which all Russians mark the greatest achievement of their 20th century, the improbable and smashing victory against what they still call German Fascist invaders.
Those veterans still among us will wear their fruit salad on their civilian clothes and walk just a bit taller than usual. The St. Petersburg symphony orchestra will play the Shostakovich 7th symphony, in memory of the dead of the Leningrad blockade. Most likely, every TV channel will replay those immortal pictures of Zhukov galloping into Red Square on his white steed, amidst all those captured banners being hurled at the entrance to Lenin's tomb. And everyone else will be enjoying a long and leisurely May weekend, since that's what these Soviet-era holidays have turned into--the bank holiday/federal holiday/3-day-at-least weekend, a classic Hallmark card event. There's nothing quite like Moscow in May. I highly recommend it on May 9 or any other May day.
I just wish we had a different individual leading us in marking this momentous occasion.