Moldova celebrates Victory Day on 9 May to remember the end of World War II. It is a day to celebrate the defeat of Nazi Germany and to solemnly remember those who died in the war. It is also a time to honour World War II veterans who are still alive.
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On Victory Day, there is an official ceremony where flowers are laid on the Eternity Memorial in Chisinau to honour the victims who died in World War II. And there are also various parades and other patriotic celebrations.
However, Victory Day is a somewhat tense and controversial time in Moldova these days. There are separate pro-socialist parades sometimes, alongside the “other” parades. The ethnic, linguistic, and political divisions in the country are very real and very deep-seated.
Originally, what is now Moldova was the eastern portion of Moldavia, which became a formative province of the republic if Romania. In fact, in 1940, Russia invaded and annexed this part of Romania. The region had been called Bessarabia earlier.
The cooperation of Soviet Russia with Nazi Germany early in the war and the Soviet annexation of parts of Poland and Romania are overlooked by some; while, at the same time, everyone is glad that Moldova was liberated from Nazi control, even if they don’t look fondly on the Soviet control that followed for the next forty-five years.