What was inspiring - and also sobering - was the presence of many elderly uniformed and be-medalled veterans in the crowd. Victory Day (День Победы Den Pobedy) commemorates those who died in Great Patriotic War/WWII and celebrates survivors and veterans. People carry flowers - mainly carnations - to give to any veterans they see. Sobering both because it is a reminder that in what became the Soviet Union (USSR) an unbelievable number of people - 26.6 million - lost their lives in that war. And because here are individuals who witnessed the regimes of both Hitler and Stalin, as well as the more recent upheavals of Gorbachev, Yeltsin and Putin. Hard to imagine what lives like these have been like.