The triumphant arch. Avtovo. July 1945
8 July 1945 saw the return to Leningrad of the Leningrad Guards’ Infantry Corps. Three divisions entered the city in three columns – via Stachek Prospekt, Moskovsky Prospekt (International Prospekt at the time) and along the embankments of the River Neva. Along the processional route the victors passed through arches of triumph and the residents of Leningrad met the soldiers with flowers, embraces and music. As those who took part in the parade recalled, “We were walking on a carpet of flowers.”

One column marched towards Palace Square through Theatre Square.
The Kirov Orchestra was conducted by Samuil Pruzhan
Head of the theatre’s Artistic Production Complex Nikolai Ivantsov
Opera soloist Sarra Ivnitskaya and her daughter
Theatre box-office cashier Natalia Gavrilova (left) and box-office manager Anna Veibel (centre)
Unusual places for the audience at the Conservatoire
Kirov Theatre performers the double bass players Yelisei Tkachenko and Vartan Akopian and the violinist Polikarp Yankevich

Guards of the 45th Infantry Corps marching past the Kirov Theatre

The chronicle features photographs from the Mariinsky Theatre Archive, performers' family collections and the collection of the Central State Archive of Film and Photo Documents of St Petersburg.

Project staff: Anna Petrova, Olga Makarova, Iosif Raiskin, Olga Ovechkina, Irina Pchelkina, Elena Lollo, Artyom Burdov.
Proof-reader: Irina Kupriyanova.
English translation: Michael Smith

Any use or copying of site materials, design elements or layout is forbidden without the permission of the rightholder.