Leaders across Europe are marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day, as much of the continent remains under lockdown due to coronavirus.A two-minute silence will be held in the UK, followed by an address from the Queen.
Closed ceremonies are also being held by the leaders of France and Germany, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel.Other events also are being held, but large public gatherings remain forbidden.
On 8 May 1945 Britain and its Allies formally accepted Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender after almost six years of war.
To mark the occasion, President Macron will lay a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris – the ceremony closed to all or any but alittle group of officials.
Chancellor Merkel also will lead a ceremony at Germany’s central War Memorial. In Berlin, residents are given an unprecedented public holiday, although this in not in situ across the remainder of the country.
A similar celebration, known as Victory Day, is held on 9 May in several former Soviet countries including Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
Russian President Putin had planned to carry a serious parade in Moscow on Saturday, attended by President Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping. But the event – showcasing over 15,000 troops – has been postponed thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, a military flyover will happen and Mr Putin will lay flowers at a war memorial near Moscow’s Red Square.