May 9 represents one of the biggest celebrations in Russia, but also the commemoration of the end of one of the darkest chapters in the history of the country. Although victorious in what Russians call the Great Patriotic War (their part of World War II), the Soviet Union lost over 27 million people. Leningrad paid a massive toll of an estimated 800,000 victims during almost 900 days of siege by the Nazi army. Seventy-four years after the end of the war, the traces of the past are still visible in the city, and memorials and museums help the younger generations and visitors to remember and reflect. 

Traces of shelling