71st anniversary of Victory in Great Patriotic War

Today, Russia and post-Soviet countries are celebrating one of the most important holidays of the year – the anniversary of Day of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. May 8, 1945 in a suburb of Berlin at 22 hours 43 minutes Central European Time (9 May at 0:43 Moscow time) the final act of the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany and its armed forces was signed.

Celebrations will take place in Moscow and other cities of Russia and CIS countries. Military parades and solemn marches will be held in 43 Russian cities, the 'Immortal Regiment' rally will be held in 26 countries. It is expected that it will be attended by up to 24 million people in Russia.

Moscow will become the traditional central platform for celebrations. The president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has arrived in the capital of Russia. This year Kazakhstan does not hold the Victory Parade, but last year's parade has become the biggest one in the history of Kazakhstan.

The key event of the day is the Victory Parade on Red Square, which will begin at 10:00 Moscow time. It will involve about 10 thousand people, including a combined parade unit of female service members from the Russian Defense Ministry’s Military University and the Volsky Military Logistics branch of the Khrulev Logistical Support Military Academy.

135 military vehicles, from the legendary T-34 tanks to the next generation of Russian tanks Armata, Kurganets military platforms, armored personnel carriers Boomerang, 71 planes and helicopters will take part in the 71st Victory Day parade in Moscow, including strategic and tactical bombers, fighters, attack planes, transport and attack helicopters, as well as the latest model of multi-purpose freighters Il-76MD-90A, TASS reports. The Parade will be attended by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Nursultan Nazarbayev and the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The national flag of the Russian Federation and the Victory Banner were brought onto the Red Square to the music of The Sacred War. The military parade is led by the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces, Colonel General Oleg Salyukov and is hosted by the Russian Defense Minister and Hero of Russia, Army Gen Sergei Shoigu, who was greeting the troops on the 71st anniversary of Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War. The motorcar of the Russian Defense Minister headed towards the main stage where he reported before the Russian President and Commander-in-Chief, Vladimir Putin.

After that the head of state delivered a speech on today's holiday and declared a moment of silence. 

"This year marks the 75th anniversary of the start of the Great Patriotic War. Nazi Germany treacherously attacked the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. At that moment, the lives of the Soviet people changed. Our first priority was to save our homeland. It was a heroic and sacrificial road to Victory," the president stressed.

"We have managed to defeat the aggressor, who subdued the economic potential of almost the whole of Europe. The heroic deeds of the veterans and home front workers showed their strength, unity, victory spirit and love for the homeland. They defeated the powerful ruthless enemy. The Soviet people brought freedom to other nations," he reminded.

"Nowadays, civilization faces a new threat. Terrorism has become a global threat, we must defeat this evil. And Russia is ready to combine forces with other states, ready to build a new block of international security to defeat terrorism. Today is the day of the Great Victory, Hooray!" the President concluded.

The address of the Russian President was followed by the National Anthem. The military march was traditionally opened by the Drums Corps of the Moscow Military Music School.

Behind them the honor guards carried the banners of the most distinguished Fronts during the Great Patriotic War. Then, cadets from the Moscow Suvorov Military School and the Nakhimov Navy School, as well as a combined parade unit of female service members from the Russian Defense Ministry’s Military University and the Volsky Military Logistics branch marched at the Red Square.

Then, military vehicles rolled onto the Red Square. The legendary T-34 tanks were the first. They were followed by modern military equipment, including the armored car 'Tigr', 'Typhoon-K' and 'Typhoon-U', BMP-3, self-propelled artillery, Kurganets military platforms, T-90A  and Armata tanks, parade artillery crews, including 'Iskander-F' tactical complexes, a battalion of Air Defense missile systems, including anti-aircraft missile systems Buk-M2, airborne troops (armored personnel carriers Rakushka), military vehicles of the Russian Space Defense troops (air defense missile systems Pantsir), anti-aircraft missile systems S-400 Triumph, and Yars missile launchers. Armored personnel carriers Boomerang closed the military equipment brought up the rear at the parade.

71 planes and helicopters flew over the Red Square. A new military transport aircraft Il-76MD-90A was among them. The last aircrafts in today’s parade were SU-25BMs. These jets dispersed smoke of the three colors of the flag of the Russian Federation.

The orchestra left the Red Square accompanied by the ‘Farewell Slavianka’ march.

The Victory parade came to an end.

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