Thousands of Russian troops have marched in Moscow’s Red Square to mark the 69th anniversary of Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
Over 11,000 servicemen participated in the annual Victory Day parade which began on Friday as President Vladimir Putin watched from the stands.
A number of helicopters and planes also soared in the sky over Moscow while around 150 items of military hardware including new Tor-M2U air defense missile system, the Chrysanthemum-S anti-tank missile system and Typhoon armored vehicles were put on view during the parade.
“This is a holiday when all-conquering patriotic force triumphs, when we all feel especially strongly what it means to be true to the Motherland and how important it is to be able to stand up for its interests,” Putin told massed troops.
Victory Day is one of the most important holidays in Russia and a major element of the national identity. This year’s parade also serves to show Russia’s military might amid Moscow’s tensions with the West over the crisis in Ukraine.
Russia’s relations with the West are at an all-time low since the Cold War.
Tensions between the Western powers and Moscow heightened after Crimea declared independence from Ukraine and formally became part of the Russian Federation following a referendum in March.