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День защитника Отечества


Defender of the Fatherland Day - is an official holiday in Russia celebrated on February 23. The holiday marks the date of the first mass draft into the Red Army in 1918 during the Russian Civil War. Defender of the Fatherland Day got its current name after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but previously it was known as Red Army Day and later Soviet Army and Navy Day.


The name of the holiday suggests that Defender of the Fatherland Day is meant to honor men and women who are serving or served in the army. Unofficially, however, the holiday is considered to be Men’s Day. On that day women often give small gifts to their husbands, boyfriends, fathers, sons, and male co-workers. Russian authorities may organize local parades to honor the military and veterans on this day.




  • а́рмия = army

  • Кра́сная А́рмия = Red Army

  • Кра́сная Армия всех сильне́й! (The Red Arty is the strongest.)- This is a stereotypical well-known phrase from a song.

  • ветера́н = veteran

  • патрио́т = patriot

  • патриоти́зм = patriotism

  • вое́нный = military

  • пара́д = parade

  • защища́ть = to defend

  • защи́тник = defender

  • Оте́чество = Fatherland

  • Ро́дина = Motherland

  • защища́ть (что?) Оте́чество / Ро́дину = to defend the Fatherland /Motherland


This episode is from a well-known Russian movie «Офице́ры».

Есть така́я профе́ссия – Ро́дину защища́ть!

-  А я, вот представьте, всю жизнь гордился своим делом. И отец мой гордился, и дед. Ну, другие богатством гордились или   знатностью, а мы – профессией.

-  А что это за профессия?

-  Родину защищать. Есть такая профессия, взводный.


-  You know, I have been proud of what I’ve been doing for my entire life. And my father was proud, and grandfather. Well, others were proud of wealth or nobility, but we were proud of our profession.

-  What kind of profession is that?

-  To defend the Motherland. There is such a profession, the platoon commander.

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