In Moscow, a slightly different interpretation of events sixty years ago has been championed by President Vladimir Putin.
The Soviet Union’s role in bringing down Nazi Germany is a huge source of pride in Russia.
After laying a wreath in memory of Russia’s war dead, Putin hailed the Red Army as the liberator not the oppressor of eastern Europe.
But three Baltic states backed by the EU see things differently. Their calls for an apology have sparked anger in Russia. It is against this backdrop that Moscow is preparing lavish celebrations to mark the anniversary of the end of World War Two. More than fifty world leaders are expected to attend. Amid fears of a Chechen terrorist attack, security is being stepped up in the capital.
Some 30,000 police officers have been called in and aircraft violating a no-fly zone over the city could be shot down.