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On Russia’s Victory Day, veterans defiant amid Covid rampage

Tamara Galashova is 95, but despite her age — which makes her among those most vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic currently storming across Russia — she shows no fear of the disease.

“We won such a war — what is a virus in comparison?” she asked Asia Times. “Just stay home and observe the rules! We will survive this one too.”

Galashova knows whereof she speaks.

A native of St. Petersburg — the city known as Leningrad during World War II — she lost her entire family to German bombing as the Nazis laid siege to the Baltic city. She was only 14 when, pretending to be 16, she enlisted as a combat medic in the 268th Rifle Division on the Leningrad front.

After saving 15 lives and being wounded herself, Galashova was presented with the medal “For the Defence of Leningrad.”

The defiant spirit of Galashova’s generation is exactly what Russia needs today. The country is currently being shaken by some 10,000 new infections daily, and has entered the Top 5 ranking for countries impacted by the virus.

As a result, the most sacred day on the Russian calendar — “Victory Day, “May 9 — was celebrated this year with minimal fanfare.

May 9 marks the end of World War II in Europe for Russians. What Western Europeans call VE (“Victory Europe”) Day is celebrated on May 8, the date of the German surrender in 1945. But due to the time difference between Western Europe and Moscow, the date falls on May 9 for Russians and other peoples of the former Soviet Union.

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