Military parade on Red Square in Moscow to celebrate the victory over Nazi Germany, May 9, 2018
Russia on Wednesday celebrated the 73rd anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany with a military parade in Moscow, a commemoration that brings the Russians together across political divides.
Russia took advantage of the parade on the Red Square to unveil its latest military innovations, including models of armored vehicles or aircraft recently out of Russian arms factories.
“Our people fought to the death, no country has suffered such an invasion,” Vladimir Putin said in a speech before the parade.
The Russian president then gathered at the grave of the unknown soldier with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Red Square, MOscou, May 9, 2018
Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu are scheduled to meet in the afternoon and discuss the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Russia said it was “deeply disappointed” by Donald Trump’s decision while Israel said “totally support” the United States.
“Today is a holiday that has always been, is now and will always be sacred to every family,” said the Russian president in front of the crowd, including many veterans of the Second World War.
The USSR, of which Russia is the heiress, lost nearly 27 million people during the Second World War. The victory of 1945 was elevated to the rank of founding myth of patriotism and Russian greatness.
Military parade on the Red Square in Moscow, May 9, 2018
Vladimir Putin denounced in his speech those who want to “rewrite history” and minimize the role of the Soviet Union in the victory against the Nazis. “Today, people are trying to erase the exploits of our people to save Europe from slavery, disappearance, the horrors of the Holocaust,” he said.
About 1.6 million people recognized as veterans of the Second World War still live in Russia, according to the Russian Ministry of Labor.
Military parades were held in other Russian cities while a ceremony was held at the Russian military base of Hmeimim in Syria, where Moscow supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Mig-31 aircraft carrying hypersonic missile “Kinjal” fly over Red Square in Moscow, May 9, 2018
Many Russian military innovations were presented at the parade, including fifth-generation Su-57 fighters. An armored vehicle named “Terminator” or Mig-31 aircraft carrying the hypersonic missile “Kinjal” (“Dagger”) described as invincible in March by Mr. Putin, also participated in this parade.
For the first time, Russian-made drones and a demining robot, used in Aleppo and the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, were presented. In total, more than 13,000 soldiers marched and 159 types of vehicles, including 75 aircraft, were seen, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense