​70 for Victory: Armata tanks, nuclear bombers, intl boots in Moscow for V-Day

Ceremonial unit soldiers at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Maksim Blinov)
On Saturday Russia is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the victory in World War II. The biggest part is the military parade in Moscow’s Red Square, a grand event involving newest hardware at the army’s disposal.

The parade opened with solemn carrying of two flags, that of Russia and the historic banner that was raised over the Reichstag building back in 1945 to declare that it was taken by the Red Army.

Troops from all arms of the service were lined up on Red Square. Those include young cadets from Suvorov military school and visiting foreign troops from 10 countries. Inspecting the ranks, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin, who is Commander-in-Chief of the Russian armed forces, that the troops are ready for the parade to start.

“Wherever veterans of the WWII live now, they must know that here in Russia we value greatly their courage, resolve and loyalty to the frontline brotherhood,” Putin said in a congratulatory speech. Putin praised the many peoples of Soviet Union, allies from Europe, across the Atlantic and Asia, which fought on one side against the Axis powers during the war.

A minute of mourning followed to commemorate victims of the war: soldiers killed in battles, members of resistance movements, prisoners of deaths camps, civilians who perished to the hardships of sieges and wartime.

Ceremonial unit soldiers at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Vladimir Pesnya)

Cannon fire and Russia’s national anthem sounded just before the troops started their march across Red Square. A military band was the first unit to start the marching. Soldiers wearing historic uniforms, including cavalry on horseback marched and rode across. Following them were foreign visitors of the event.

Ceremonial unit soldiers at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Vladimir Fedorenko)

Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, India, Mongolia, Serbia and China all sent their soldiers to participate in the Moscow parade.

Officers-in-training from various cadet schools followed. One of the units came from an all-female cadet school, which contributed to a V-Day parade for the first time. Academy officers, the high-ranking military teachers, commanders, senior technicians and defense researchers, came next.

Ceremonial unit soldiers at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Alexander Vilf)

Representatives from the Ground Forces, the Air Forces, the Navy, the Marines, the Strategic Missile Forces, the Air and Space Defense Forces, the Air Defense Forces, the Airborne Troops marched one by one across the Red Square, standing for all regular arms and branches of the Russian armed forces.

Military specialists from troops involved in railroad transportation and biochemical warfare were followed by troops not under Defense Ministry command: Interior troops, Emergencies Ministry troops and Border Service guards marched.

Elite Kremlin cadets were the final troops to march across Red Square, giving way to military hardware.

Just like the march past, historic pieces of armor like legendary T-34 tanks opened the hardware demonstration.

T-34-85 medium tanks from the Great Patriotic War period at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Anton Denisov)

Tigr and Kornet D armored vehicles were the first hardware currently in service rolled out then. Next came infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers.

A Tigr (Tiger) Russian all-terrain infantry mobility vehicle drives during the Victory Day parade at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2015. (Reuters/Host Photo Agency)

Advanced BMD 4M and Rakushka vehicles came next. The newest APCs, Kurganets, of the airborne troops were demonstrated for the first time during the parade.

A BMD-4M amphibious fighting crawler vehicle at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Vladimir Fedorenko)

A BTR-MDM Rakushka (Shell) airborne armored personnel carrier at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Alexander Vilf)

Kurganets-25 armored personnel carrier with medium-category caterpillar chassis at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Iliya Pitalev)

Another novelty, Armata chassis-based heavy APCs, has been making headlines since the beginning of the year.

A T-14 tank with the Armata Universal Combat Platform at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Maksim Blinov)

T90A main battle tanks, one of the newest in the Russian army, came next.

T-90A main battle tanks at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Anton Denisov)

Their successor, Armata-based T-14 tanks, which will become the backbone of the Russian armored forces, rolled through the square.

Infantry fighting vehicles with the Armata Universal Combat Platforms at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Anton Denisov)

Then Msta-S self-propelled artillery paraded across Red Square. Following them were the modern Koalitsia pieces.

A MSTA-S self-propelled howitzer at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Anton Denisov)

Now it was the turn of heavy weapons. A unit armed with Iskander-M tactical ballistic missiles demonstrated their weapons followed by launchers and radar stations of the Tor-2U air defense system.

An Iskander / SS-26 Stone shorter-range missile system at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Alexander Vilf)

Russian TOR-M2U tactical surface-to-air missile systems drive during the Victory Day parade at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2015. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)

Pantsir-S dual cannon and missile air-defense vehicles rolled onto Red Square.

A BTR-82A armored personnel carrier and A Pantsir-S / SA-22 Greyhound self-propelled surface-to-air missile system at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Anton Denisov)

The S-400 Triumf, Russia’s most-advanced long-range defense system, which has no equal in the world now, came next.

S-400 Triumph/SA-21 Growler medium-range and long-range surface-to-air missile systems at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosi/Alexander Vilf)

The ‘shield’ part progressed into the ‘sword’ component. Yars nuclear ICBM missile mobile launchers are a crucial component of Russia’s future nuclear deterrence.

RS-24 Yars/SS-27 Mod 2 solid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missiles at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Vladimir Pesnya)

Bumerang armored vehicles, another firstcomers in the Russian armed forces were the final part of the ground demonstration.

Tu-160M, the most advanced Russian strategic bomber, zoomed over the heads. Piloting it was the commander of the Russian Air Forces, Gen. Viktor Bondarev.

Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers during the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Vladimir Fedorenko)

Strategic bombers Tu-95 followed the plane.

Tupolev Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers at the final rehearsal of the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Ramil Sitdikov)

There came Mi-8 transport helicopters, Ansat-U training helicopters, Mi-35M strike helicopters, K-52 Alligator helicopters, Mi-28N Night Hunter helicopters with Berkut aerobatic pilots at helm.

Kazan Ansat-U helicopters during the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novost/Vladimir Sergeev)

A Mil Mi-35 Hind helicopter at the final rehearsal of the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novsti/Ramil Sitdikov)

A Mil Mi-26 Halo helicopter at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Vladimir Astapkovich)

The gargantuan An 124-100 Ruslan transporter was followed shortly by three Il-76 heavy transport planes.

An Antonov An-124-100 strategic airlifter flies by during rehearsal for parade marking the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. (RIA Novosti/Alexander Vilf)

After the transport aircraft came the bombers. Three Tu-95 MS strategic bombers, the legendary nuclear-capable supersonic Bears, flew by.

Three Tu-22M3 long-range supersonic bombers followed.

Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire strategic bombers at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Vladimir Sergeev)

Two Su-34 and two Su-24 ground attack planes did the trick simultaneously in pairs from two Il-78 ‘flying tankers’. A pair of MiG-31 fighter jets appeared.

Ilyushin Il-76 Candid strategic airlifters at the final rehearsal of the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Vladimir Vyatkin)

Advanced MiG-29SMT fighters and Su-34 fighter-bombers were followed by Su-24M ground attack planes and MiG-31 heavy interceptors. Then flew five Su-25SMs and a wing formation of Su-24s, Su-27s and MiG-29s, totaling 10 aircraft.

Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback tactical bombers, Su-27 Flanker fighters and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Konstantin Chalabov)

Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot ground-attack planes at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Alexander Vilf)

Pilot groups Vityaz and Strizh demonstrated their famous diamond-shaped formation. They piloted five Su-27s and four MiG-29s flying them in a tight pack and shooting flares.

Next in the air was the number 70 formed of 15 MiG-29s and Su-25s followed by six Yak training planes in a pyramid formation.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters and Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot ground-attack planes at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Vladimir Sergeev)

A group of six Su-27 colored the sky in white, blue and red smoke of the Russian flag to close the aerial demonstration.

Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker fighters of the Russian Knights aerobatic team and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters of the Swifts aerobatic display team at the final rehearsal of the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. (RIA Novosti/Vladimir Vyatkin)

Ending the parade was another live performance by the military band. World leaders attending the event then went to lay flowers to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a war monument in central Moscow. Celebration of the anniversary continued throughout Russia, with spectacular fireworks scheduled for evening.