Europe and Russia spent the last few days celebrating the 71st Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) to mark the end of World war II.

The German military surrendered on May 7, 1945, in Reims, France and then again on May 8 in Berlin, Germany, a week after the Red Army overtook the capital.

71 years later, French President Francois Hollande placed a wreath at the Charles de Gaulle statue.

Celebrations occurred in Israel. The Nazis murdered over six million Jews during WWII.



But no one puts on a show like the Russians, who observe Victory Day on May 9 since the Germans signed the surrender late May 8. The Russians have used Victory Day to showcase their might and strength across Red Square in Moscow.

This year, though, President Vladimir Putin cooled the rhetoric towards the West. Relations between the two have dipped to Cold war levels after Russia invaded east Ukraine two years ago and annexed Crimea. Putin told the crowd that his country “is ready to work on the creation of a modern system of international security, outside of alliance blocs.”

The Soviet Union lost over 27 million citizens in WWII, more than any other country involved in the conflict.

Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.