Soldiers raising the flag of Soviet Union on the roof of Reichstag building in Berlin, May, 1945. Original photograph by Yevgeny Khaldei

Washington Post: One thing is missing from Russia’s WWII remembrance — the Allies

MOSCOW — Russia’s vast celebrations Saturday to mark the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany had nearly everything: 16,000 marching soldiers, medal-bedecked veterans and families carrying photographs of those who died long ago.

But conspicuously absent from the memorial of the Soviet Union’s joint victory with the West were the leaders of those wartime allied nations. A year into a conflict in Ukraine that the West says is fueled by the Kremlin, the tribunes in Red Square were stocked with officials from nations that had little association with the Soviet Union’s painful wartime sacrifices. Even some Kremlin critics said they were disappointed by the snub.

A decade ago, President George W. Bush sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin on stands in front of Lenin’s Tomb to observe the 60th anniversary. A decade before that, President Bill Clinton came to Moscow in an emotional post-Cold War visit. But on Saturday, the most prominent visitor’s seat went to Chinese President Xi Jinping, with whom Putin has tried to build bridges as relations with the West have soured because of the war in Ukraine.

Update: Don’t forget how the Soviet Union saved the world from Hitler -- Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post

WNU Editor: I live in Montreal  and yesterday's focus was on the good weather and a Montreal Canadiens hockey game. I talk to my cousins in Moscow .... it was all talk about the parade and the end of the Second World War celebrations. Talk about a disconnect.

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