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7 May, 2009 08:38

Don’t rain on my parade: Victory Day rehearsal goes undisrupted in Moscow

With 9th of May festivities approaching, Muscovites have witnessed a series of parade trainings on the streets of the city center.

Despite gloomy weather, the last dress rehearsal of the military parade in honor of the victory in WWII successfully rolled through Red Square early on Thursday.

Consisting of three parts, the event included over 9,000 strutting troops, 112 units of military equipment, as well as 69 helicopters and planes.

On display was Russian military machinery, including armored vehicles Tiger BTR-80, BMD-4 and BMP-3 tanks, T-90 Smerch volley fire systems, S-300 Favorite, S-400 Triumph, and Topol missile launchers.

The parade was concluded with a rich show of helicopters and jets. Three Mil Mi-8 carrying flags of Russia, the Air Force, and the Defense Ministry were followed by air wings of Sukhoi Su-25 assault jets, Mikoyan MiG-31 fighters, Sukhoi Su-24 and Su-34 bombers, Tupolev Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic bombers, Ilyushin Il-78 tank planes and Antonov An-124 'Ruslan' jumbo cargo planes.

The parade air component was concluded by aerobatics teams Vityazi and Strizhi.

Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov inspected the forces, while the Moscow military commander was in charge of the entire event.

Earlier joint training of all parade participants took place in the town of Alabino in the Moscow region. There also were three rehearsals which included military equipment on Red Square, where it will actually be held on May 9.

Pilots were able to practice on May 5, when they took a flight from their base, Kubinka near Moscow, to the capital.

This year’s parade is expected to be the most spectacular in post-Soviet Russia’s history.