60 Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War
Medals to political figures who fought against fascism
President of Croatia, Stepan Mesic, received the medal
MAIN WWII VICTORY FESTIVITIES START IN MOSCOW
MOSCOW, May 8 (RIA Novosti) - This Sunday main festivities devoted to Victory Day (60th anniversary of the end of WWII) are commencing in Moscow. The CIS summit, which is to start its work at noon Moscow time in the form of a working meeting, will be the first event. After that, the heads of the CIS states will meet in the square in front of the Bolshoi Theater with the veterans of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) from Russia and other CIS countries. The square is famous as the place where war veterans traditionally gather every year on the eve of the Victory Day celebrations. After that, the CIS leaders will attend a festive concert to be held for war veterans on the new stage of the Bolshoi.
This Sunday most foreign guests are arriving in Moscow, including Chairman of the People's Republic of China Hu Jintao, Germany's Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, President of France Jacques Chirac, Prime Minister of Japan Junichiro Koizumi, Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, and also US President George Bush whom President Vladimir Putin is expected to meet this evening.
A Victory Parade will be held at 10:00 a.m. in Red Square on May 9, the main day of the celebrations.
After the parade, the invited leaders of foreign states will lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin wall together with the Russian leadership.
At noon, a festive reception will be held on behalf of Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin in the State Kremlin Palace on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War. Both war veterans and the leaders of foreign delegations have been invited to this reception.
During the reception, a ceremony will be held to award the medals "60 Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War" to war veterans, foreign guests, and also to political figures who fought against fascism. Thus, the medals will be given to President of Greece Karolos Papoulias (who participated in the resistance movement in Greece in 1943-1944), President of Albania Alfred Moisiu, President of Croatia Stepan Mesic, Wojciech Jaruzelski (former President of Poland, a participant in the Great Patriotic War), Glafkos Kliridis (former President of Cyprus, a war participant and military pilot), and former king of Romania Mihai I Hohenzollern.
The heads and members of foreign delegations are planned to hold numerous meetings within different formats on May 9. The leaders of various countries will hold bilateral meetings. The President of Russia will hold a series of tete-a-tete meetings with his colleagues from other states.
Also, a Middle East quartet (UN, Russia, U.S. and EU) meeting is scheduled for May 9.
Despite that, all foreign guests and war veterans will gather again in Red Square in the evening. At 20:00 Moscow time, a minute of silence will be held to commemorate the war victims.
After that, an impressive show will be held to reproduce the history of the Great Patriotic War and its main episodes. The festivity will end with a concert of pop stars and big fireworks.
On Tuesday, May 10, a Russia-EU summit will be held in the Grand Kremlin Palace.