1,000s of troops, state-of-the-art weaponry parade through Moscow on V-Day (PHOTOS, FULL VIDEO)
Thousands of exemplary servicemen and women, along with the most advanced and battle-tested equipment, paraded through Red Square in a grand military exhibit that constitutes the focal point of the annual Victory Day celebrations in Russia.
LIVE UPDATES: Russia celebrates Victory Day
More than 10,000 soldiers and officers took part in the parade marking the 72nd anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. On show, some 100 state-of-the-art pieces of military vehicles.
Units representing all branches of Russia’s military – the Ground Forces, the Aerospace Force, the Navy, the Marines, the Strategic Missile Forces, the Airborne Troops as well as the National Guard, Emergencies Ministry and the Federal Security Service forces – marched imperiously across Red Square.
Officers-in-training from various cadet schools followed.
Academy officers, high-ranking military teachers, commanders, senior technicians and defense researchers came next. The procession also featured two all-female units, one of which participated in a V-Day parade for the first time.
The military hardware demonstration was opened by the legendary T-34 tanks, once hailed as “the finest tank in the world” by German tank general von Kleist back in 1941.
Tigr-M armored vehicles were the first hardware currently in service to roll through the square. Tigr-M is capable of carrying a wide range of weapons from small arms to anti-tank missiles, making it a highly adaptable multipurpose piece of military equipment.
Next came the Typhoon armored personnel carriers (APCs) that have proven to be reliable support for the Russian military police and engineer troops in Syria.
The Armata T-14 tanks and Armata-based heavy APCs, which were first presented in 2015, were again on Red Square alongside the state-of-the-art Kurganets APCs.
The Msta-S self-propelled artillery also paraded across the Square, along with modern Koalitsia artillery pieces.
The heavy weapons were represented by the Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile systems, known for their ability to deliver highly efficient and precise short-range missile strikes.
The latest generation of the BUK-M2 and TOR-M2U air defense systems, designed to counter massive enemy airstrikes, followed next.
For the first time, mobile air defense systems that guard the air space of the Russian Arctic were presented, including the TOR-M2DT and Pantsir-SA missile systems.
The Pantsir-S and Pantsir-SA systems are the world’s only air defense missile systems capable of maintaining precision firing while on the move.
The S-400 Triumf, Russia’s most-advanced long-range defense system, which has no equal in the world now, came next.
The Yars nuclear ICBM missile mobile launchers – a crucial component of Russia’s future nuclear deterrence strategy – were also on display.
Military aircraft back from Syria flying over Moscow was expected to be one of the most impressive sights during this year’s Victory Day parade.
However, unseasonably harsh weather, with heavy clouds and strong winds, has forced the cancellation of the aircraft display.
The Russian Knights and Swifts pilot groups were fully ready to deliver their best performance after rigorous training and rehearsals – which you can still see in RT’s immersive 360 video. Days before the parade, five Su-27s and four MiG-29s flew the entire route in a tight diamond formation.
Military parades have traditionally been held on Red Square on May 9 since the 20th anniversary of the victory in 1965. The tradition was temporarily suspended after the collapse of the USSR and revived in 1995.