Russia marks Defender of the Fatherland Day

Russia marks Defender of the Fatherland Day

Today Russia celebrates February 23rd – Defender of the Fatherland Day. The history of the holiday begins in 1918 with the Red Army. 

On January 28, 1918, the Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom), established shortly after the October Revolution in 1917, adopted a decree on the establishment of the Red Army. On February 22, Sovnarkom issued a decree declaring that the country was in danger. On February 23, mass rallies took place in Moscow, St. Petersburg (Petrograd) and other cities across Russia, while volunteers flocked to the Red Army.

In 1919, the establishment of the Red Army was suggested to be celebrated on the first Sunday before or after January 28, but since the proposal to mark this anniversary was sent in too late, the celebration was postponed until February 23.

In 1922, a military parade was held on the Red Square in Moscow, laying the foundation for future mass celebratory events on this day. In 1923 it was officially named the Day of the Red Army and the Navy.

The decision on the establishment of a holiday with a new name on February 23rd in Russia was taken in 1995. Officially, it looked like this: the Day of the Victory of the Red Army over the Kaiser's troops in 1918 was the Day of Defender of the Fatherland.

The modern Defender's Day appeared in 2001. This day became a day off, and became not only the professional holiday of those who have a direct connection to the army, but also of all those who defend, defended or only will defend the country.

Defender of the Fatherland Day is a holiday number one in Russia, the president of the International Association of Veterans of the Alpha Anti-Terrorism Unit, Sergey Goncharov, said, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza. He recalled the words of the Emperor Alexander III that Russia has only two allies - the army and navy. "If we had no strong army - probably we would not have our state. That is why I think that this festival will be celebrated by the whole country," the expert believes.

"I hope that our soldiers, our troops, wherever they serve, deserve very kind words. And we look forward to them, that they will actually protect us, and our state will remain as strong and great," Sergey Goncharov stressed.

The editor-in-chief of the newspaper 'Journalistic Truth', Vladislav Shurigin, agreed that the Defender of the Fatherland Day is not just one of the key events, but one of the backbones of the country, which was constantly engaged in wars.

"Of course, there was a small period of about 20 years, when all this has been questioned, demonized. During these 20 years we have lost almost everything we had, all our zones of influence, markets, allies. Today, again with the help of the army and the Navy, we have to at least protect our positions," he pointed out.

A military observer of the TASS news agency, retired Colonel Viktor Litovkin, reminded that today the Russian army is on the first-second place in terms of public trust in government and public institutions, it shares this place with the church.

"Now the army is a priority for both the government and society. Respect for people in uniform has increased in recent years dramatically for many reasons. Military service has become prestigious. Officers get high salaries, they are provided with apartments, other social rights and benefits," he said.

The expert stressed that the Russian army shows high combat readiness, both during exercises and the antiterrorist operation in Syria. "And the army leaders who address the Parliament or the public, are also respected among the population. The Victory Day parade on May 9 also makes its contribution, when people see modern military equipment, which the army receives. The Russians understand that the army is ready to protect the national interests of our state and they feel more confident with such an army," Victor Litovkin concluded.

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