At Moscow Victory Day Parade, Vladimir Putin Reviews Russia's Military Might [PHOTOS]

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On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany signed its unconditional surrender, ending World War II in Europe. It was past midnight in Moscow, and therefore May 9 has since been the day when the Soviet Union, and then most of its successor nations, celebrated Victory Day, or "Den Pobedy" in Russian.

Russians call World War II the Great Patriotic War, and every year they celebrate that victory with a parade on Red Square in Moscow. President Vladimir Putin has brought back the grandeur of the Soviet-style parade, after the celebrations were subdued for much of the 1990s under President Boris Yeltsin, when Russian nationalism was at its ebb following the dissolution of the USSR. 

On Friday, Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu attended the parade, in front of the Kremlin, all of them wearing the black-and-orange ribbon of Saint George, a traditional symbol that people wear on Victory Day. This year, the ribbon took an additional, controversial meaning, as many use it to show support for the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Shoigu, a civilian who assumed the rank of a Russian Army general after taking his post in 2012, attended in uniform. After the Moscow parade, Putin flew to Sebastopol in Crimea, for another parade -- the first in the newly annexed region, which joined Russia in March. 

Putin Medvedev Kremlin President Vladimir Putin (front L) and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (C) watch the Victory Day parade.

 

Putin Kremlin Speech Putin makes a speech before the Victory parade in Red Square, with the Cathedral of st Basil behind him.

 

Soldiers Red Square Russian soldiers march in Red Square.

 

Russia civil defense troops Civil defense troops from the Ministry of Emergency Situations marching in Red Square.

 

Sergei Shoigu Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (front L) salutes during the Victory Day parade.

 

Russian troops Crimean flag A Russian serviceman aboard an armored personnel carrier salutes next to the blue-white-red tricolour flag of Crimea, during the Victory Day parade.

 

Topol-M missiles Topol-M mobile missile launching units drive in formation during the Victory Day parade. The Topol-M, known as SS-27 by NATO, is the latest intercontinental ballistic missile developed by Russia, and the first after the USSR dissolved.

Russian sailors A fisheye shot of Russian sailors marching in front of an officer in Red Square.

 

Russian fighter planes Kremlin Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-27 and Mig-29 fighter jets fly over the Kremlin.

 

 

 

 

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