Military units have practiced for months and most of the world will watch snippets of the grand Victory parade on Red Square tomorrow. The celebration of victory over Nazi Germany officially began today, 08 May, with several key events in Moscow and around the former Soviet region.
President Putin began with a decree that Russia will provide pensions and benefits to certain former Soviet citizens of the Republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia and specifically former Soviet citizens living on the territory of these states who:
– were in the Soviet armed forces during the Great Patriotic War (WWII).
– non-military individuals who participated in combat operations to defend the Fatherland.
– partisans and members of underground organizations who lived in occupied territories.
– members of the internal affairs bodies and organs of state security (KGB, etc).
– members of para-military institutions during the war.
– civilian officials of the army and navy, army and law-enforcement bodies.
– persons awarded the medal “For the Defense of Leningrad,” disabled children due to injury, concussion or injury associated with the fighting in the Great Patriotic War.
– former prisoners in Nazi concentration camps, prisons and ghettos, widows and widowers of military veterans who lost their lives during the war.
Beginning this month, Soviet-era veterans of the military and/or state security services who live in the three Baltic Republics will begin receiving a monthly pension of 1,000 rubles from Russia for life. Russia will pay those in non military categories listed 500 rubles month for life.