Moscow's Red Square was transformed into a stage to show Vladimir Putin's military arsenal for the world to witness, as tensions in Ukraine continue to escalate.
Russia celebrated the 69th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over the Nazis at the end of World War II (Great Patriotic War) and it was a good time as any to show the world the nation has plenty of military power to do as they please.
Included in the impressive May 9 traditional celebration in the Red Square were 11,000 troops marching with precise steps, 149 military vehicles, and 69 warplanes that flew overhead to awe those watching, which surely included officials in the US and its allies.
The West is concerned about Putin's aggressive actions in Crimea and is watching the situation very closely. The Red Square parade, while a patriotic celebration, is clearly sending the message that Putin has the means to attack anyone he sets his eyes on, but also defend its interests.
Russian Sukhoi Su-25 ground-attack aircraft flying over Red Square in Moscow during the Victory Day parade pic.twitter.com/CFSPkhJkYB
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) May 9, 2014
Russia shows off military might at annual Victory Day parade in Red Square: pic.twitter.com/lXC96HjpJE
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) May 9, 2014
Parade on Red Square: the 69th anniversary of the Victory #9May #VictoryDay pic.twitter.com/NW70ihR4u4
— Government of Russia (@GovernmentRF) May 9, 2014
Victory Day Parade held in Moscow's Red Square - http://t.co/3mZufIO0ze pic.twitter.com/h1roao88NbBut for the proud Russians, the celebration in the Red Square is a reason to mark the anniversary of Victory Day, when the Soviet Army defeated the Nazis, which marked the beginning of the end for Hitler.
— Xinhuanet (@XinhuanetNews) May 9, 2014
At precisely 10 am, local time, the clock on the Kremlin's Spasskaya tower chimed to indicate the parade was set to begin and the servicemen of the Preobrazhensky regiment, which have been the honor guard at the Red Square for over 55 years, brought out the Russian Federation flag and Victory Banner.
This year's Victory Day parade included some new elements such as Special Forces, which haven't traditionally participated. There were also several new military equipment including armored KamAZ-63968 'Typhoon' combat cars, Tor-M2U antiaircraft missile systems, Khrizantema-S antitank missile systems, as well as 2S19M2 Msta-S modernized self-propelled artillery guns, as reported by RT.com
Victory Day in Russia is an important holiday and citizens mark the capitulation of the Nazis to the Soviet Union on May 9, 1945 to end World War II, which took 26 million Soviet lives, more than any other country. The first Victory Parade was held at Red Square on June 24, 1945 following orders of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.
may 9, 1945 Moscow, the Red square. People celebrate Victory Day on Nazi Germany. Great day #AmazingPhoto #VictoryDay pic.twitter.com/TpmvMVegYK[Image via Twitter]
— Lena Rise (@lena_rise) May 9, 2014