Moscow is "en fete" in preparation for Victory Day celebrations which will be marked on 9 May with a large military parade. The final rehearsal for the parade took place on Red Square on Thursday. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu observed today's rehearsal. Oleg Salyukov, Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces, commanded the parade.
After a traditional announcement "Attention, Moscow is speaking!" and Kremlin bells ringing, the 154th Preobrzhensky Regiment military personnel brought Russia's flag and the Victory Banner to Red Square.
Russians on Saturday will honor the memory of those who died in the Great Patriotic War with a moment of silence twice. "It is planned that during the parade on Red Square, Russian President Vladimir Putin will announce a moment of silence to honor the memory of all those who died in the Great Patriotic War. On the same day, at 6.55pm Moscow time, all federal TV channels will broadcast a special program ‘In memory of those who died in fight against Nazism' that will start with a sound of metronome which became the symbol of remembering the victims of that war," the Organizing Committee of 70th anniversary of Victory Day celebrations said on Thursday.
The Russian News Agency Itar-Tass said that the anniversary parade in Moscow on May 9 will be one of the most massive events in the history of celebrations. Among those who will take part in the parade are 16,000 servicemen, 194 units of ground military equipment, 143 planes and helicopters, including newest equipment of the Airborne Troops, such as BMD-4M airborne combat vehicle, BTR-MD Rakushka armored personnel carrier, Yars intercontinental ballistic missile complex. Models of armored vehicles constructed on the basis of Armata, Kurganets and Bumerang platforms will be part of the mechanized column.
Military units from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, India, Mongolia, Serbia, and China will participate in the parade.
Other former Soviet republics were invited to send military units to the parade but have declined.
Victory in Europe Day is celebrated in other parts of Europe on 8 May, usually with memorial services honouring those who died in the struggle against fascism and nazism. There will be a low key representation of NATO and EU countries at the Moscow parade because of the situation in Ukraine.
source: commonspace.eu with Itar-Tass.
Photo: Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.