Tomorrow Russia celebrates Victory Day, the 70th anniversary of the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany.
More than 25 million Soviet citizens died in World War II, and the narrative of the victory over fascism was a major part of Soviet identity.
The Russian Victory Day on May 9 has taken on increasing significance as a vehicle to channel national pride and demonstrate military prowess under Russian President Vladimir Putin, especially since Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula last year.
As people gear up for the big day, symbols of the war are EVERYWHERE.
Especially these orange and black ribbons, which were historically part of Russian and Soviet military decorations.
More recently they've been adopted by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine and have come to symbolize Russian national pride and support for the Kremlin.
Volunteers are handing them out in cities all over Russia.
But some people, not content to pin on a puny little ribbon, are taking their Victory Day game to the next level.
There are high fashion interpretations.
And interior design options.
Perfect for this little guy to curl up on.
There's patriotic cooking oil.
And cognac: "To the victory, in one gulp!"
There are Etsy-esque interpretations.
And Victory Day manicures.
People are making human ribbons.
And in the Kremlin, you can sit on one.
If orange isn't your color, there are World War II-themed photo shoots.
And Victory Day parties that promise "nights here are loud."
Critics argue that Russia's celebrations are perverting the actual meaning of the holiday and the intention to honor veterans.
"The price of victory — 63 rubles and 82 kopecks," Russian blogger Rustem Adagamov tweeted.
More than 25 million Soviet citizens died in World War II. An earlier version of this post said it was more than a quarter million.
Susie Armitage is the Global Managing Editor and is based in New York.
Contact Susie Armitage at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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