Putin makes no reference to Ukraine during Victory Day celebrations

Annual Victory Day parade is Russia’s most important secular holiday

Russian servicemen march during the Victory Day Parade in Moscow’s Red Square as Russia celebrates the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany during World War Two. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Russian servicemen march during the Victory Day Parade in Moscow’s Red Square as Russia celebrates the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany during World War Two. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

 

Thousands of Russian troops have marched in Red Square in the annual Victory Day parade in a proud display of the nation’s military might amid the escalating tensions over Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin made no reference to the situation in Ukraine when he opened the parade this morning, focusing on the historic importance of the victory over Nazi Germany.

Victory Day is Russia’s most important secular holiday and a key element of the national identity, reflecting the nation’s enormous suffering and honouring millions of victims of World War II.

The holiday also offers a chance to display the nation’s massive military arsenal.

About 11,000 troops proudly marched across Red Square to the tunes of marches and patriotic songs. Some 150 military vehicles and about 70 combat aircraft took part in the show.

Reuters