Russia Holds Victory Day Military ParadeWorld | May 9, 2014, Friday // 13:28| views
Russian APC vehicle crew with a Crimean flag salute during a military parade marking the 69th anniversary of the victory over the Nazi Germany in the WWII in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia 09 May 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Russia displayed its full military might during the annual Victory Day parade at the Red Square in Moscow.
The country marked the 69th anniversary of the defeat over Nazi Germany in WW II.
This year's parade was more massive than in previous years, involving 50 additional military vehicles, 11,000 army personnel, and a special role of the Sevastopol Black Sea Fleet, the BBC reports. The event lasted for an hour, compared to the usual 45 minutes.
In his speech, President Vladimir Putin refrained from touching upon the sensitive topic of Ukraine, although a flag of the breakaway Crimean region was seen waved over one of the tanks.
"It is a day of national triumph and national pride, a day of grief and everlasting memory. It is a celebration of the invincible power of patriotism that triumphs when we all have a particularly acute feeling of what it means to be loyal to one's Motherland and how important it is to defend its interests", President Putin said.
"We'll never let you down; we'll take care of Russia, its glorious history, putting it above all. It has always been this way in our country and I'm sure it will be in the future", Putin told the thousands of army veterans.
Unconfirmed reports suggest President Putin may attend a parade in the Crimean city of Sevastopol later, a move which German Chancellor Angela Merkel described would be "a pity".
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