Russia holds military parade to mark Victory Day

Soldiers and military hardware were paraded across Red Square in Moscow in the annual event that celebrates Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The Victory Day event included an aerial show, as well as smaller parades in cities across Russia and Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula.

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday warned Russia could defeat any aggressors but insisted that the world come together to fight "terrorism" as Moscow marked 72 years since victory in World War II.

Soldiers and military hardware paraded across Red Square in Moscow as the country held its annual pomp-filled celebration of the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945. 

"The lessons of past war force us to remain alert and the armed forces of Russia are capable of warding off any potential aggression," Putin said as he presided over the parade.  

"Today life itself requires us to increase our defensive capability, but for an effective fight against terrorism, extremism, neo-Nazism and other threats it is necessary to consolidate the whole international community."

Putin insisted that Russia was "open for such cooperation" and that Moscow would "always be on the side of the forces of peace and with those who choose the path of equal partnership." 

During the parade, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia was open for cooperation in the international community's fight against terrorism. (Reuters)

Parade in Crimea

An aerial show by Russia's air force, including warplanes that have flown missions to support Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad's army, was cancelled because of low visibility.

Smaller parades were held in cities across Russia, in Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula, which Russia annexed three years ago, as well as at Russia's Hmeimim air base in Syria.

Moldovan President Igor Dodon was the only foreign dignitary to attend the Moscow parade. In prior years, leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping had attended.

Tuesday's parade was the first time Russia had showcased its Tor-M and Pantsir SA air defence systems, painted in the white and black colours of the country's Arctic forces.

Also on display were columns of troops, tanks and Russia's Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system.

Putin said: "The Russian soldier today, as in all times, showing courage and heroism, is ready for any feat, for any sacrifice for the sake of his motherland and people."

TRTWorld and agencies