Russia’s annual Victory Day parade is underway in Moscow with thousands of military personnel and weaponry filing past Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, his top military officials and allies.
The sun has been shining in Moscow today for the high-profile event marking the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.
It’s one of the most significant days in Russia’s public calendar and an opportunity for Moscow to display its military pomp, as well as its military hardware.
The Victory Day parade sees Putin and other heads of state of allied countries, as well as military personnel and war veterans, watch on as massive missile launchers, battle tanks and troops parade through Red Square in the capital.
This year is expected to be a smaller affair, however, with the ongoing war in Ukraine involving much of Russia’s military personnel and security concerns high on the Kremlin’s watchlist this year, particularly after a recent alleged drone attack on the Kremlin.
Victory Day parades have been canceled in a number of regions and cities in Russia due to those security concerns, and the traditional air display did not take place in Moscow today.
Nonetheless, more than 10,000 people and 125 units of weapons and military equipment were reportedly involved in the parade.
Addressing the crowd at this year’s event, Putin characterized the war against Ukraine as a war for Russia’s survival and future, saying in a speech that “real war” was being waged against Russia, a country that launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine 15 months ago.