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St. George’s Ribbon also arrives in Cuba

Havana, May 9 (Prensa Latina) Russia celebrates this Thursday the Victory Day over German fascism in the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), a transcendental moment in which the St. George Ribbon acquires greater significance for the people of that nation.

In Havana, the two-colored ribbon was also seen pinned to the clothes, at the level of the heart, of those who participated in a ceremony held on May 6 at the José Martí Cuban National Library in tribute to the nearly 27 million Soviets who died in that war.

The event was attended by Russian language students from the Foreign Languages Faculty at the University of Havana (FLEX), who shared with representatives of the Russian Embassy and the Russian House in this capital.

The guests enjoyed stories about the events of those dark five years of war, poems that managed to convey feelings even to those for whom the language barrier was a hardship, two short films about the siege to Leningrad, and the expected anti-fascist victory.

Almost at the end, Daria Kovaleva, representative of the Russian youth, took the stage and spoke briefly about the ribbon worn on the clothes of those present: the St. George Ribbon.

Kovaleva explained that its history dates back to the reign of Catherine the Great. Its two colors, black and orange, represent smoke, trenches, and fire.

She noted that at that time, its use was equivalent to being in the Imperial and Military Order of St. George, Martyr and Victorious. It was abolished after the 1917 October Revolution and was again worn as a symbol of honor and tradition during World War II in 1941 under the name of the Guard Ribbon.

Kovaleva expressed in one sentence the feeling shared by millions of citizens of that country when celebrating Victory Day and the value of the famous St. George Ribbon for them.

“We, the younger generation, remember them. I never got to meet my grandfather because he was one of those who did not return; practically every family had someone who took part in the war, so I think this is a day to pay tribute to those who died.”

Sputnik recalls that around 1970, it became a traditional attribute to the Victory Day celebrations in the anti-fascist war. At that time, it was not worn but appeared on posters as a decorative element.

It was only in 2005 that the Soviet Guard Ribbon became known again under the historical name of martyr St. George.