On May 9 the Russian people and other people of the former Soviet Union celebrate Victory Day. It was the Red Army of the Soviet Union that utterly defeated the Axis armies in Operation Bagration and on its march to Berlin. Militarily the D-Day invasion of continental Europe by the U.S. and its "western" allies was a mere diversion from the huge Soviet offensives in the east. By end of August 1944 the German forces and their allies had essentially lost the war.

This graph, too little known, shows the huge sacrifices the Russians and others made. It explains why the Russians remember their victory.

purple=military death (millions); green=civilian death (millions); blue=total death (% of population)