Russia, and some of the other countries that formed part of the USSR, on Friday celebrated Victory Day which this year marked the 69th anniversary of the end of the "Great Patriotic War".
President Vladimir Putin accompanied by senior political and military officials of the Russian Federation reviewed a military parade on Moscow's Red Square. Around 150 military vehicles including tanks and intercontinental ballistic missle launchers, and more than 11,000 servicemen participated in the event. Sixty nine planes and helicopters also took part in the parade marking the sixty nine years since the end of the war.
From Moscow President Putin travelled to Crimea where he reviewed Russia's Black Sea Fleet in the port of Sevastopol. This was President Putin's first visit to Crimea since Russia annexed it earlier this year. The US Government called the visit unnecessary and provocative.
This year's celebrations of the anniversary of the end of World War II became more significant as a result of the current stand-off between Russia and the west on Ukraine. Russia, the United States, Britain, France and other allies fought together against fascism and Nazism in Europe during the war. Around 20 million citizens of the former USSR, including millions of civilians, died in the struggle.
source: commonspace.eu with agencies.
Photo: A Russian tank entering Red Square in Moscow on 9 May 2014 for the annual Victory Day parade, which this year assumed special significance. (Picture courtesy of Itar-Tass).
Getting the Eastern Neighbourhood right is a key necessity for the future security and prosperity of Europe. The Brussels summit offers an opportunity for important steps on this matter in the right direction – not as an end in themselves but rather as a part of a longer term and more ambitious vision.
An incident at a military facility of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic resulted in three Armenian soldiers killed and one seriously injured. It is not clear what the exact circumstances of the incident were, but for the moment it is being treated as an accident.