72nd 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 72nd anniversary of Day of Victory in the Great Patriotic War over Nazi Germany.
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 key event of the day is the Victory Parade on Red Square, which began at 10:00 Moscow time. It will involve about 10,000 people and more than 114 pieces of modern armaments and military hardware. A total of 17 helicopters and 55 combat planes, including Tupolev Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers, will fly over Red Square.
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.
"There was no, there is no and there will be no force that could ever enslave our people. They fought to the bitter end, defending their homeland, and did what seemed impossible, they turned the bloody wheel of the Second World War back, drove the enemy from our land where it dared to come, crushed Nazism, put an end to its atrocities," Putin said.
"And we will never forget that it was our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers who brought the freedom to Europe and the long-awaited peace on the planet," the president added.
"The consolidation of the efforts of all international community is necessary for the effective fight against terrorism, extremism, neo-nazism, other threats. We are open to this kind of cooperation," the Russian president said.
"We feel a deep and strong kinship with the generation of heroes and victors. And I will tell them the following: you will never feel ashamed of us! The Russian soldier today, like in all the times, showed courage and heroism, and is ready for any heroic deed, for any sacrifice for the sake of his Motherland and his people," the Russian president said.
The Russian Armed Forces are capable of repelling any aggression but consolidation of the entire international community is needed to effectively fight terrorism and other threats:
"The lessons of the past war urge us to be vigilant and the Russian Armed Forces are capable of repelling any potential aggression," the Russian leader said, stressing that "today life itself requires increasing our defense potential."
The Russian president stressed that the need to strengthen the defenses was dictated by the life itself.
The address of the Russian president is followed by the national anthem.
Then came the passage of troops on Red Square. By tradition, it was opened by the drummers of the Moscow Military Music School.