Saturday, January 16, 2021

Russian athletes propose Soviet song 'Katyusha' to replace the national anthem

Despite the decades of anti-communist propaganda, the memories of the Soviet Union and the immense contribution of the Red Army to the victory against fascism in WWII are still alive in capitalist Russia. 

A recent example of this is the proposal by the Russian Athletes Commission to play the famous Soviet song 'Katyusha' at international sporting events for the next two years, while Russia's national anthem is banned over doping violations. 

“There were many options for the musical accompaniment, even some modern ones,” Olympic fencer Sofya Velikaya, who chairs the athletes commission was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies. “But we settled on ‘Katyusha’ by a large number of votes.”

It is still unclear whether the playing of ‘Katyusha’ would be permitted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

However, 'Katyusha' is not a random song. The song, written in 1938, refers to a young woman called (Ekaterina) Katyusha who is standing on a steep riverbank and sends her song to her beloved, a soldier fighting the fascists far away. The theme of the song is that the soldier will protect the Motherland and its people while his grateful girl will keep and protect their love. 

The song became very popular during the Second World War, when many Soviet men left their wives and girlfriends to serve in the front against the Nazis. It also gave its name to the "Katyusha" rocket launchers that were used by the Red Army in the war.

By the Great Antifascist Victory in 1945, it was already a symbol of the heroic Red Army and all Soviet people, while it's melody was used as the basis of anti-fascist songs by partisan movements throughout Europe.