Picture of the day: Uniforms in uniform

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The Independent Online

These Russian soldiers were being put through their paces yesterday at Alabino, just outside Moscow, in preparation for the huge Victory Day parade planned for 9 May in the capital.

Victory Day, which has become one of the biggest Russian holidays over the past decade, is part of a Kremlin drive to restore a sense of patriotism to Russians. This year, the date has extra significance, as it is 65 years since the Allied victory in the Second World War.

A major military parade is planned on Red Square, and state-controlled television has already begun showing patriotic war films and documentaries. Some Kremlin critics say that this approach to history is simplistic and prevents a critical appraisal of Joseph Stalin's rule. This year, Moscow authorities have announced that billboards featuring a portrait of the Soviet dictator will be posted around the Russian capital to mark Victory Day.

Troops from the Allied countries, including Britain, are expected to take part in the parade, which will also feature tanks and missile launchers, as well as flypasts by military aircraft.