President of Russia Vladimir Putin attended the military parade to mark the 71st anniversary of Victory in the 1941–1945 Great Patriotic War.
In line with tradition, a banner unit of the 154th Preobrazhensky Regiment’s honour guard carried the Flag of Russia and the Victory Banner onto Red Square. Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces Oleg Salyukov was in charge of the parade. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu inspected the troops.
Around 10,000 people took part in the Victory Day Parade. Officers and soldiers from different units marched in formation, along with students from the Suvorov and Nakhimov military academies, and from other Defence Ministry and other security and law enforcement agency schools and academies. For the first time a combined unit of female military service personnel from the Military University also took part in the parade.
The marchers were followed by military hardware. This year, more than 130 pieces of modern military hardware crossed Red Square: Tigr multipurpose vehicles, T-90 and Armata tanks, BTR-82A armoured personnel carriers, BMP-3 infantry combat vehicles, Msta-S self-propelled howitzers, and Buk-M2, Pantsir-S and Yars air defence systems.
The Mi-26, the world’s largest military transport helicopter, opened the airborne part of the parade. It was accompanied by four Mi-8AMTSh helicopters, known as the ‘Terminator’, and they were followed by the Mi-28H Night Hunter, the Ka-52 Alligator, and the Mi-35.
The new Il-76MD-90A military transport plane took part in the parade for the first time. It was recently commissioned by Russia’s Aerospace forces. Other aircraft to fly over Red Square included the An-124–100 Ruslan, Su-24 and Su-34 bombers, Su-25 attack planes, the MiG-29 and Su-27 fighter aircraft, the new multipurpose Su-35C fighter planes, the MiG-31 interceptor aircraft, the Il-78 refuelling tanker, and the Tu-22M3, Tu-95MS and Tu-160 long-range bombers. Completing the airborne were Su-25 attack aircraft with smoke in the colours of the Russian flag.
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Vladimir Putin: Fellow citizens of Russia and esteemed veterans, soldiers and sailors, sergeants and master sergeants, warrant officers and chief warrant officers, officers, generals and admirals.
Congratulations on Victory Day! An occasion where joy, memory and grief have merged. May 9 is both a public and a very personal, family holiday. It became a symbol of the sacred relationship between Russia and its people. It is in this unity and loyalty to the Fatherland that our strength, confidence and dignity lie.
The Great Patriotic War will always be a sacred deed of our people, a call to live honestly, hold high the bar of truth and justice and pass these values on from one generation to the next.
We are united by deep, sincere feelings for our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers. We would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to all those who are living, who are near, and we do not conceal our pride and tears. We would like to pay tribute to sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, comrades-in-arms and friends –all those who never came back from the war, who are gone. I would like to announce a minute of silence.
A minute of silence.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War: on June 22, 1945, the Nazis treacherously attacked the Soviet Union. The life of a huge country changed in an instant. And at this tragic turning point, there was but one choice, a superior choice to be made – saving the Fatherland became the top priority for the entire people.
A heroic and sacrificial road to Victory ensued. A host of the most challenging tasks had to be solved without hesitation. One of them was evacuating millions of citizens and industries to the east. All of this was to be done in the most difficult conditions of the enemy’s assault, in the heat of the war.
The veterans are proud of their grandsons and granddaughters – they have not let them down and will always be looking up to the Great Victory, to the deed of a heroic generation of victors!
Now it is hard to comprehend what extraordinary efforts it took to relocate and restore more than fifteen hundred plants. In several months, they started continuously supplying tanks, aircraft, ammunition and military equipment to the front. This greatest, unprecedented labour victory allowed our army to push the enemy back and smash an aggressor that harnessed the economic potential of almost all of Europe.
The deeds of home-front workers demonstrated the vital force of our people, its unity, victorious spirit and love for the Fatherland. Our fathers and grandfathers defeated a powerful and merciless enemy that many countries gave in to. It was the Soviet people that brought freedom to other peoples. It was our soldiers who paid back the Nazis and their allies in full for the millions of victims, for all the barbarities and atrocities on our land.
The war lasted for nearly four years and became an epoch for our entire country. An epoch of courage and bravery, of the toughest trials and tragic losses, of bright hope and boundless faith in Victory. The Great Patriotic War will always be an outstanding, sacred deed of our people, a call to live honestly, hold high the bar of truth and justice and pass these values on from one generation to the next.
May 9 became a symbol of the sacred relationship between Russia and its people. It is in this unity and loyalty to the Fatherland that our strength, confidence and dignity lie.
Comrades, history lessons teach us that peace on Earth is not established by itself; that one needs to be cautious; that double standards as well as shortsighted indulgence of those who nurture criminal plans are impermissible.
Today, civilisation is again facing cruelty and violence: terrorism has become a global threat. We must defeat this evil; Russia is open to joining efforts with all states and is ready to work on creating a modern, non-aligned system of international security.
Our soldiers and commanders have proven that they are worthy successors of the Great Patriotic War heroes and that they honourably protect the interests of Russia. I am sure that today the veterans are proud of their grandsons and granddaughters – they have not let them down and will always be looking up to the Great Victory, to the deed of a heroic generation of victors!
Congratulations on the anniversary of the Great Victory! Hurray!