Victory Day: Russia displays military might in Moscow Red Square parade

Celebration marking anniversary of Nazi surrender in Second World War is country's most important secular holiday

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The Independent Online

Russia has sought to show off its military might during a Victory Day parade in Moscow as Vladimir Putin declared "the armed forces of Russia are capable of repelling any potential aggression".

The parade featuring tanks, intercontinental ballistic missiles and troops in tight formation was part of celebrations marking the anniversary of the surrender of Nazi Germany in the Second World War, Russia's most important secular holiday.

But thick cloud cover forced the cancellation of the traditional dramatic conclusion to festivities — a flyover by military aircraft and display teams. The parade is a highly ritualised display and marked changes in its order are unusual. 

The Defence Ministry had said cloud-seeding planes would be deployed to disperse the overcast skies Tuesday above Moscow, as has been done previously when poor weather threatened.

President Vladimir Putin said in his parade address that "we feel a piercing blood relationship with a generation of heroes and winners".

He also called for "consolidation of the entire international community" to combat terrorism and extremism.

Russian marines, Arctic vehicles and artillery were all on show, as well as historic T-34 tanks that were influential on Second World War battlefields. A number of missile launchers also trundled across Red Square.

Rehearsals for the parade were held last week.

Additional reporting by agencies

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