|Dermot Hudson and Andy Brooks honour the fallen|
by New Worker correspondent
Russian and British war veterans and members of London’s thriving Russian community joined hundreds of Londoners in commemorating the victory of the Red Army over Nazi Germany this week. Local dignitaries and the envoys from many of the former Soviet republics gathered around the Soviet War Memorial in the shadow of the Imperial War Museum on Tuesday for the annual ceremony, organised by the Soviet Memorial Trust Fund, to mark the 72nd anniversary of the Allied Victory over Fascism in 1945.
Whilst hundreds of thousands of people packed Red Square for the massive parade for the ‘March of the Immortals’ to salute those who fought and those that gave their lives in the struggle to defeat the Nazis in the Second World War, British veterans held their banners high in London as they marched to the war memorial. The monument that was made in Russia depicts a semi-abstract figure holding a bell that will forever remain silent in memory of those who died in the conflict.
Communists and peace campaigners ,including CND veteran Bruce Kent and a New Communist Party delegation led by NCP general secretary Andy Brooks, joined others in laying wreaths and floral tributes at the memorial unveiled in 1999 as a lasting tribute to the Soviet sacrifice.
Victory Day is a public holiday throughout the Russian Federation and in many of the former Soviet republics, and at the end of the ceremony the Russian ambassador, Alexander Yakovenko, invited everyone to join him in a toast to victory at the nearby marquees where vodka, wine and Russian food were waiting.