A big cloud with little rain? What to expect on 9th of May and why some of its celebrants suggest a more lenient attitude

9th of May is coming. There are fears that the arrival of people to commemorate the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II at the Vilnius cemetery on that day could fuel provocations in the context of Russia's war in Ukraine. The country's security authorities and the authorities have already warned of this possibility.

There are fears that the arrival of people to commemorate the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II at the Vilnius cemetery on that day could fuel provocations in the context of Russia's war in Ukraine.
There are fears that the arrival of people to commemorate the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II at the Vilnius cemetery on that day could fuel provocations in the context of Russia's war in Ukraine.
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Lrytas.lt

May 4, 2022, 11:16 AM, atnaujinta May 4, 2022, 11:17 AM

However, some experts believe that Russia's war is just the thing to calm the tensions that arise every year on that day and that in a rush to condemn the rush to the cemetery on 9 May, it should be borne in mind that some of the Russians are coming to pay their respects to the dead, including their relatives.

Could unrest be avoided?

Lauras Bielinis, a political scientist at Vytautas Magnus University, says he has a feeling that, as the saying goes, little rain will fall from a big cloud. He says that the Russian hostilities in Ukraine should somewhat dampen the traditional 9th of May celebrations.

„Anything can happen, but I think the overall context – the war and Russia's defeat – will actually dampen all the passion of the 9 May commemorations that used to exist. So I don't expect something strong. But this is just my hunch. I don't know if I have a good one,“ Bielinis said on „Events and Commentaries“ on Žinių Radio.

The professor speculated that this year's 9th of May commemorators could be lured to the cemetery by emotions that are surging through the edges, such as anger over the demolition of monuments dedicated to Soviet soldiers, nostalgia for the past, and provocative actions deliberately carried out by certain individuals.

It is to be hoped, he said, that the relevant services in the country are preparing for 9 May and are determined to do their duty to avoid possible provocations, if any.

„I think that we will have a normal 9th of May and celebrate Victory Day on 8th of May,“ the Vytautas Magnus University political scientist said.

Suggests a more sensitive approach

Saulius Spurga, a lecturer at Mykolas Romeris University, pointed out that 9th of May used to be a day to honour the dead, but Russian President Vladimir Putin's propaganda has turned this date into a symbol of his power and aggression.

„Putin's propaganda has turned it the other way, as a symbol of his power and aggression. This has certainly been very bad for the image of this holiday. I think we should not give in to this. We should make every effort to restore this festival to its original meaning,“ explained Spurga.

The political scientist said that on that day, we should be sensitive and look at some of the people who go to the cemetery with a condescending attitude because they just want to honour their relatives who died on the battlefield.

„There is no good and normal thing that cannot be spoiled. There is the commemoration of the day, of the victory, but it is also a commemoration of the dead, a day of calm and concentration. Many thousands of Lithuanians also gave their heads to the Soviet army. Let us remember those people and their sacrifice,“ urged Spurga.

He also called unacceptable the proposals to take down all monuments commemorating Soviet soldiers by 9th of May.

„Certain things that have been said about the need to tear down the monuments by 9 May are certainly unacceptable. However, it is strange that we, with our various institutions and heritage protection services, do not know what we are protecting and why we are protecting it“, he wondered.

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