On May 8, 1945, Germany capitulated to the USSR on the Eastern Front. News reached Moscow at dawn the following day that Germany had signed the Act of Unconditional Surrender in Berlin. The city erupted in fireworks and celebration.

At 8:00 PM on May 9, after hours of celebration on the city streets, Stalin made his official announcement:

“The great day of victory over Germany has come. Fascist Germany, forced to her knees by the Red Army and the troops of our Allies, has acknowledged herself defeated and declared unconditional surrender.… The great sacrifices we made in the name of the freedom and independence of our Motherland, the incalculable privations and sufferings experienced by our people in the course of the war, the intense work in the rear and at the front, placed on the altar of the Motherland, have not been in vain, and have been crowned by complete victory over the enemy. The age-old struggle of the Slavic peoples for their existence and their independence has ended in victory over the German invaders and German tyranny.… Henceforth the great banner of the freedom of the peoples and peace among peoples will fly over Europe.”

With the announcement of victory, the role of the TASS studio changed dramatically. Subsequent posters dealt significantly less with the headline news of the day, and instead served as a joyous backdrop to the celebrations that swept the USSR—and a colorful reminder on the streets that the war was over.

The TASS studio’s ability to turn out editions of posters at very short notice dealing with the latest news had made the studio’s production style an asset during the war. With the war now over and the urgent need for swift dissemination of headlines diminished, the editorial board fought to remain relevant. On December 21, 1946, the TASS studio was closed.

Vladimir Ivanovich Ladiagin. Untitled, September 21, 1945. Gift of the USSR Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries.

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