Minute of Silence

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For a sanctioned period of silent contemplation, see Moment of silence.

Minute of Silence (Russian: Минута молчания) was a joint radio and TV program in the Soviet Union broadcast on at 6:00 pm on May 9, the day of the victory of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic war. It was first broadcast on Soviet Central Television in 1965, 20 years after the Allied victory over Nazi Germany. Aside from the minute of silence itself the main part of the program was a solemn address, commonly known as The Minute of Silence, dedicated to all those who fell fighting the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.

The idea of the program was suggested by Irana Kazakova. Other people of the team who produced the first version were Ekaterina Tarkhanova, Svetlana Volodina, Arkadi Revenko, Mesyatsev, Khazanov, Levitskaya, and other people assistants, artists, musical editors, etc.[1]

The program was started with the announcement "Attention, Moscow's listening and watching!" by the Soviet radio voice Yuri Levitan, famous for his announcements during World War II. The very "minute of silence" was sounded with the toll of the Moscow Kremlin bells and the clock at the Spasskaya Tower striking seven in the evening. The address was initially narrated by well-known Soviet radio commenter and actress Vera Enyutina. The TV version was showing the flame on the background of a wall with the text "To the Memory of the Fallen." Due to its solemnity the address was informally known as "the prayer".[1]

After Enyutina emigrated to the United States the address was narrated by Levitan, and later by Igor Kirillov.[2] The text of the address was modified during the Brezhnev stagnation by Galina Shergova and Yevgeny Sinitsyn, under the orders of the management. In particular, a piece about Malaya Zemlya was inserted (removed after Leonid Brezhnev's death in the May 9, 1983 broadcast).[1]The text was replaced with a new one in 2015, with inserted footage from the first ever minute of silence from that year's Victory Day Parade, plus pictures of some of the many fatalities of the conflict.

Russia's Channel One and other networks (like Russia 1) still broadcast this special program today while RT broadcasts it in English, Spanish and Arabic for the benefit of its international viewers. Since 2002, it is broadcast at 6:55 pm, before that it started at around 6:45 in the evening. (Since 2014, RT only shows the minute itself.)


  1. ^ a b c "An interview with Irana Kazakova" (in Russian). Journalist. 2005, no. 5. p. 59.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "Vera Enyutina biography" (in Russian). kino-teatr.ru. 

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