Rehearsal for Victory Day parade in Moscow


  • Russia's Victory Day parade only featured one T-34 model tank
  • There were fewer than 10,000 troops made up of cadets and students marching in the parade
  • Russia is believed to have lost more than 3,700 tanks in the war in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday led a fairly-scaled back May 9 Victory Day parade in Moscow's Red Square that highlighted the Russian army's losses in its 14-month war in Ukraine.

Victory Day, which commemorates the anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory against Nazi Germany, is typically used by Putin to show off the country's military power. This year, however, only one tank took part in the parade — a T-34 model dating back to World War II.

In addition to a lack of tanks, this year's Victory Day parade also saw fewer than 10,000 troops marching through Red Square—most of whom are cadets and students of military universities, per Forbes. In contrast, the parade normally sees several thousands of Russian soldiers accompanying hundreds of military vehicles.

The absence of tanks and troops, coupled with the cancellation of dozens of Victory Day parades in other cities, highlights Russia's mounting losses in its war in Ukraine.

As of Tuesday, it is believed that Russia lost a total of 195,620 troops — including 650 soldiers killed over the past day — in Ukraine. Moscow has also lost 3,734 tanks, 7,257 armored personnel vehicles, 3,031 artillery systems, 2,618 UAVs and 5,969 military vehicles and fuel tanks, according to estimates published by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Apart from its massive losses in the war, the annual Victory Day celebration also highlighted the country's isolation from Europe and the West, with only President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan and President Serdar Berdymukhamedov of Turkmenistan among most high-profile figures in attendance.

In comparison, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Ukraine on Tuesday to mark Europe Day together with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"Ukraine has been fighting for the ideals of Europe that we celebrate today to create lasting unity and peace," she said during her visit.

Von der Leyen further isolated Russia from the EU after announcing plans to impose an 11th package of sanctions on Moscow soon, with provisions focusing on cracking down sanctions circumvention and banning "shadow" entities from Russia.

Russians celebrated Tuesday's World War II Victory Day hoping for a win on the modern battlefield