MAY DAY IN RUSSIA

by Slava Tsukerman

International Workers’ Day, May Day, is a celebration of international labor movement and used to be one of the most celebrated holidays in the Soviet Union.

In recent months,  several traditions and laws of the Soviet Union were revitalized in Putin’s Russia. Uniforms are being returned to preliminary and high school. A ban on the use of profanities in press and literature is returning.

Also Putin re-established the golden Medal “Hero of the Labor”, which was one of the highest Honors in the Soviet Union and disappeared after it’s fall.


The medal “Hero of Labor” in Soviet days and today.

On May First Putin at the special solemn ceremony in Petersburg personally handed out the first medals.

The Gold medal “Hero of Labor of the Russian Federation #1”  was given to the director of the Institute of Neurosurgery, Alexander Konovalov, for the founding of a new trend in medicine – micro neurosurgery.

The medal #2  was given to the outstanding conductor, artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, Valery Gergiev.

Other medals were handed to a miner Vladimir Melnik for a record performance in mining work; Yuri Konnov, a tractor driver for forty years; and Konstantin Chumanov, a tuner from “Instrument-Making Plant”.

The Soviet tradition of the May Day demonstrations had never been completely abandoned in modern Russia, since members of the Communist Party and its supporters have kept it alive.

This year about 3,000 people took part in the Communist demonstration in Moscow.


The slogan: “With every step we are closer to Socialism!”


The slogans: “Stalin was always right!” and “Soviet Power is real power of people!”


The slogan: “Stalin, we need you now more then ever!”

The number of the Communist Party participants of the May Day demonstration is decreasing every year – five years ago the Communist’s march had ten to fifteen thousand participants.  But the reason is not the decreasing of leftist sentiments.  It is the opposite.  In the past years, the numerous leftist allies – the Left Front, The Other Russia, Working Russia and the anarchists marched together with the column of the Communist Party. This year, all the leftist forces took part in a separate march.

As the Communist Party is one of the official parties that are members of the Duma, other leftist parties are becoming noticeably more radical.

This year seven different processions with different political slogans participated in the May Day demonstrations in Moscow.


The slogan: “Take away and divide between everybody”, meaning taking all the property of capitalists.


The slogan: “We are waking up!”


The slogan: “Putin is a thief and a killer!”

The most participants were in the official columns organized by the State supported Trade Unions and the ruling party United Russia. By official accounts 90,000 people took part in these demonstration.

Here is the official TV coverage of the demonstration.

[youtube ydbSaxaDvIY]

Neo-Nazi and other nationalists had their own 500 people column. They marched through the street of Moscow under slogans “Russia must be ruled by Russians,” “Moscow does not want guests” , “National Socialism – is the order.” They chanted “Down! Down! Down with the KGB regime” , “Moscow – Russian city”, “Guest worker, go away!”.


Slogan: “To be a Russian means to be a warrior”


Slogan: “Moscow is Russian city!”

Here is the video of this column.

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Updated: May 5, 2013 — 7:41 am
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