Russia stages historic VE Day parade in Moscow May 10, 2015 21:01:32 GMT
Post by Admin on May 10, 2015 21:01:32 GMT
Russia is celebrating its victory over Nazi Germany 70 years ago with a massive military parade in Moscow. Many Western leaders have snubbed the festivities amid tensions over Russia's role in eastern Ukraine.
The Victory Day parade marking 70 years since the end of World War Two in Europe began in Moscow's Red Square at 10 a.m. local time (0700 UTC) on Saturday. Russia's latest military hardware and more than 16,000 troops were to take part in the extravagant show, slated to be the biggest parade of its kind since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In his address, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid tribute to the Red Army and thanked wartime allies France, Britain and the United States for helping to defeat Nazi Germany. He added, however, that there had been "attempts to create a unipolar world" in recent decades, apparently refering to the US which Moscow has criticized for seeking to dominate global affairs.
A highly-anticipated feature of the parade is Russia's latest generation of T-14 Armata battle tanks, equipped with a remote-controlled gun turret capable of firing missiles. A series of new robotic armored vehicles and artillery systems were also expected to be among the new weapons on show. More than 100 military planes, including long range nuclear bombers, are scheduled to swoop over Moscow in a fly-by.
More than 26 million Soviet citizens lost their lives in the Second World War, eight million of which were troops. After Saturday's parade, some 165,000 people are expected to march through central Moscow with portraits of relatives who fought in the war. Smaller parades are scheduled to take place in 25 other Russian cities.
Pilot groups Vityaz and Strizh demonstrated their famous diamond-shaped formation. They piloted five Su-27s and four MiG-29s flying them in a tight pack and shooting flares. Next in the air was the number 70 formed of 15 MiG-29s and Su-25s followed by six Yak training planes in a pyramid formation.