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Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

  • India has withdrawn its participation in Kavkaz 2020 multinational exercise in Russia in September 2020 citing logistics difficulties due to COVID-19 pandemic.
  • However, there are reports that it is mainly due to participation of Chinese troops amid the ongoing standoff in Ladakh.
  • Another reason cited was the participation of Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the exercise which have only been recognised by Russia and few other countries.
  • The invitees for the Kavkaz 2020 exercise also include China and Pakistan apart from other member-states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

About Kavkaz 2020

  • The Kavkaz 2020 is also referred to as Caucasus-2020.
  • The exercise is aimed at assessing the ability of the armed forces to ensure military security in Russia’s southwest, where serious terrorist threats persist and preparing for the strategic command-staff drills.
  • The main training grounds that will be involved are located in the Southern Military District.
  • The invitation for participation has been extended to at least 18 countries including China, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey apart from other Central Asian Republics part of the SCO.

Recently in news regarding Military exercise between Russia and India: Victory Day Parade

  • Indian Defence Minister was on a trip to Russia to attend the 75th Victory Day.
  • India had sent a tri-services contingent to participate in the Victory Day Parade.

What is Victory Day?

  • Victory Day marks the end of World War II and the victory of the Allied Forces in 1945.
  • Adolf Hitler had shot himself on April 30. On May 7, German troops surrendered, which was formally accepted the next day, and came into effect on May 9.
  • In most European countries, it is celebrated on May 8, and is called the Victory in Europe Day.

Why does Russia not celebrate Victory Day on the same date?

  • The erstwhile Soviet Union had not wanted the surrender to take place in the west, and wanted that such a significant event should reflect the contribution of the Red Army and the Soviet population.
  • Stalin argued that despite the surrender of the Germans, the German soldiers (who did not get the news or for other reasons) did not surrender in East Prussia, Courland Peninsula, Czechoslovakia till later. Since then May 9 has been celebrated at Victory Day in Russia.

Victory Day Parade

  • After winning the war and having its own Victory Day on May 9, Stalin wanted to commemorate the victory with a military parade.
  • A Parade – the Victory Parade – was held on June 24, 1945 in Moscow’s Red Square in commemoration of the victory over Germany.
  • Since it is the 75th anniversary, it becomes important for UPSC Aspirants to read about the Second World War in static syllabus.

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024