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7 Nov, 2009 08:04

WWII tanks in the heart of Moscow

November 7 marks the 68th anniversary of the unique 1941 military parade in Moscow, when marching through Red Square, Soviet soldiers went straight on the front line.

On Saturday, a festive march has been held in the Russian capital to commemorate the country's WWII effort.

At least 45 participants of the 1941 parade attended the Saturday parade as guests of honor.

The march involved present-day units from the Moscow military district, wearing Soviet military dress and other historical military costumes, and about 4,000 members of various youth groups.

Also, two famed WWII T-34 tanks took part in this year’s parade. The T-34 Soviet medium tank, produced from 1940 to 1958, was the mainstay of the Red Army armored division throughout the war. It has often been credited as the most effective, efficient and influential tank design of the war.

The November 7, 1941 parade, which in turn commemorated the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, was held for the first time after Russia entered the war, and was aimed at raising morale as Nazi German forces closed in on Moscow.

Meanwhile, Russia's communists plan separate marches and rallies in central Moscow and around the country on Saturday to celebrate the 92nd anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, which is more commonly referred to in Russia as the Great October Socialist Revolution.

Although November 7 has not been celebrated as a national holiday since former president Vladimir Putin abolished it several years ago, opinion surveys say many Russians still mark the date as the anniversary of the revolution.