This post was written by Connor Balough
Skies over Moscow turn red as Russia concludes 72nd Victory Day celebration with a massive fireworks display to mark the defeat of Hitler
- Huge Victory Day military parade in Moscow involves 10,000 troops and more than 100 units of equipment
- Russian President Vladimir Putin was in attendance as well as former Kremlin leader Mikhail Gorbachev
- The annual Red Square march in Moscow marks the defeat of Hitler’s Nazi Germany in the Second World War
- previously predicted rain halted by ‘spiking clouds’ with chemicals to stop rain.
Thousands of Muscovites stood outside last night to witness a massive fireworks display to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the defeat of Nazism.
Earlier in the day, Vladimir Putin warned the world his Russian army can ‘repel any potential aggression’ after 10,000 troops marched through Red Square with a terrifying arsenal of missiles in a military parade.
The annual march in Moscow marks the defeat of Hitler in the Second World War, but the Russian president was using it today to showcase the Kremlin’s modern military might.
Putin was personally taking the salute at the parade involving 10,000 troops and 114 units of military equipment.
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The spectacular fireworks display was to mark the 72nd anniversary of Victory of Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War
The skies above Moscow where lit up with the massive fireworks display celebrating the end of the Second World War
Vladimir Putin ensured he shook hands with many of the veterans who survived the ‘Great Patriotic War’
The Russian Air Force had to cancel plans to fly 72 aircraft over Moscow were cancelled due a low cloud base
Putin ordered his military to spike the clouds above Moscow with chemicals to make them disappear but the plan failed
The parade gave the first public showing of Tor and Pantsir mobile surface-to-air missile that have been adapted for use in Russia’s Arctic forces, their white-and-black winter camouflage standing out amid the olive drab of other war machines.
‘The armed forces of Russia are capable of repelling any potential aggression,’ Putin told thousands of military personnel.
Plans to send 72 aircraft overhead were defeated by the weather – despite the Kremlin spending £1.3 million to spike the clouds with a chemical cocktail to supposedly guarantee sunshine. Previously predicted rain was halted though, thanks to the weather changing technology.
The fly-past was grounded because of low cloud, thwarting Putin’s bid to showcase his air force and honour Russian pilots who have served in Syria.
The weather changing technology managed to stop predicted rain but couldn’t disperse the thick, low-flying cloud
There were also large fireworks displays in St Petersburg, overlooking the St Peter and Paul Fortress and the Neva River
The evening sky turned red over the Moscow University Campus amid the spectacular fireworks display
Luckily the weather cleared as an earlier flypast by Russian military aircraft had to be cancelled due to low cloud
Thousands of Muskovites held their camera phones aloft on Poklonnaya Hill to record the spectacular fireworks display
The Soviet ‘weather changing’ technology successfully prevented rain on Putin’s parade but failed to disperse the thick low cloud so only a display of armoured vehicles and missile systems went ahead.
Putin told the annual commemoration: ‘We will always guard Russia just as you, the soldiers of the Victory, did.
‘And [we will] strengthen the traditions of patriotism, loyally serving the homeland.
‘The lessons of the past war force us to be vigilant and the Russian Armed Forces are ready to repel any potential attack.’
Earlier in the day Vladimir Putin warned that his massive army was capable of repelling ‘any potential aggression’
Putin stood on Red Square as some 10,000 troops filed passed along with a range of military weapons systems
Putin said he the Russian people would never forget ‘that it was our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers who brought freedom to Europe and the long-awaited peace on the planet’
He vowed: ‘There was no, there is no and there will be no force that could ever enslave our people.
‘They fought to the bitter end, defending their homeland, and did what seemed impossible, they turned the bloody wheel of the Second World War back, drove the enemy from our land where it dared to come, crushed Nazism, put an end to its atrocities.
‘And we will never forget that it was our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers who brought the freedom to Europe and the long-awaited peace on the planet.’
Putin claimed during yesterday’s speech that there was no power on earth that could enslave the Russian people
Moscow University’s building was surrounded by light during the patriotic fireworks display to end Victory Day
Thousands of armed military personnel marched in formation through Red Square on a day of celebrations in Moscow
People found vantage points all over Moscow in order to get a view of the spectacular fireworks display over the city
Female personnel march in formation during the parade this morning. Putin used the event to show off his military might
Thousands of troops, including servicewomen, saluted as they passed Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured back centre) at the parade
Dozens of tanks rumbled through Red Square as troops saluted Putin during the massive military parade in Red Square today
As well as tanks and troops, this Russian Yars RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile system was driven through Red Square
Snipers were seen on the Kremlin Wall during the Victory Day military parade amid heightened security with Vladimir Putin watching on
Putin also watched this S-400 Growler surface-to-air missile system trundle through Red Square
There were similar scenes in St Petersburg, Russia when an estimated 400,000 people walked through the streets carrying pictures of relatives killed in the Second World War
The Russian president was personally taking the salute as at the parade involving 10,000 troops, 114 units of military equipment and 72 aircraft
Hundreds of servicewomen wearing white skirts and blue military jackets were involved in the mass parade this morning
The military display included this Buk-M2 missile system. But a planned fly-past of 72 aircraft had to be cancelled due to the weather
Dozens of female military personnel wearing white jackets and skirts were involved in the huge rally in Red Square this morning
Columns of troops, servicewomen, tanks and missile systems were on display at Putin’s showcase military event today
The annual event marks the anniversary of the end of the Second World War and sees thousands of military personnel marching through Red Square
Military might: Dozens of missiles and launchers were paraded through Red Square in a terrifying display of Russia’s fire power
Russian Yars RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missiles were brought in to the square after a parade by thousands of troops
These Russian T-14 Armata tanks were also driven slowly through Red Square. But the event did not go totally as planned after a fly-past had to be cancelled
Russian president Vladimir Putin (pictured meeting World War Two veterans) personally took the salute at the parade. But a fly-past of 72 aircraft was cancelled
Quick march: Vladimir Putin warned his Russian army can ‘repel any potential aggression’ after he watched 10,000 soldiers take part in the Victory Day parade
Putin told the annual Victory Day parade on Red Square that the horrors of World War II demonstrate the necessity of countries working together to prevent war
Tens of thousands took to the streets in Moscow to pay tribute to those killed in the Second World War. It followed a massive military parade at the Red Square
Russian and Soviet flags were waved while a banner was unfurled reading ‘Immortal Regiment ‘, during the Victory Day event
The Russian president personally took the salute at the parade. But a fly-past of 72 aircraft was cancelled.
This meant no display by Russia’s Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets, which have seen combat action recently in Syria.
A debut Victory Day march was scheduled for schoolchildren in Russia’s new ‘Yunarmia’, a 30,000-strong militarised patriotic movement nicknamed the Putin Youth Army and established by the Defence Ministry.
It was scheduled to begin at 10am in Moscow, 8am London time, with other commemorations held in cities across Russia’s 11 time zones.
On display in Moscow was the the newly developed Tor-M2DT short-range anti-aircraft missile system and the Pantsir-SA surface-to-air missile system, both designed to operate in the Arctic.
The air display included a first outing at the Victory Day event for the Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets, which have seen combat action recently in Syria.
On display too were the T-72B3M variant of the T-72 main battle tank.
Tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets of Moscow carrying portraits of relatives they had lost in World War Two
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (centre) greets guests at a Victory Day reception at the Moscow Kremlin this afternoon
Children hold portraits of World War Two soldiers as they attend the Immortal Regiment march in central Moscow today
The streets of Moscow were packed with people paying tribute to Russia’s war dead. The Immortal Regiment march was part of the Victory Day celebrations
Two Second World War veterans dance at a traditional meeting point near Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow today
Vladimir Putin is today staging a vast military parade showcasing Russia’s firepower, and hailing as heroes his troops who have seen service in Syria
A Russian TOR-M2 tactical surface-to-air missile ‘Arctic edition’ system was also driven through Red Square this morfing
The annual Red Square march and fly-past in Moscow marks the defeat of Hitler in the Second World War, but the Russian president was using it today to showcase the Kremlin’s modern military might
A BTR-82A armoured personnel carrier rolls down Moscow’s Red Square carrying military personnel dressed in white armu outfits
On display: Russian servicemen stand atop a T-72B3 main battle tank as the vehicle belches out thick black smoke
Russian servicemen lined up at the start of the parade marking the World War Two anniversary in Moscow this morning
in Vladivostok, Russia, tens of thousands of people took to the street to take part in the traditional Immortal Regiment march
Russian air force Commander Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said: ‘What makes this year so special is that virtually each and every pilot who will take part in the 9 May flyby in Moscow has fought in Syria, is highly decorated, and will showcase skills that will make many countries salivate.’
This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.
The sombre occasion is a show of respect to the 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians who died during the defeat of the Nazis.
Many Russians were today honouring the dead in their own families by taking part in marches to the Immortal Regiment, holding pictures of relatives who perished in the war.
Meanwhile, more than 10,000 people waving Russian flags and carrying portraits of Stalin watched tanks roll through Ukraine’s de facto rebel capital Donetsk on Tuesday in celebration of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany.
Russia celebrates the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany every May 9 to honor those who fought and died for their country
About 10,000 soldiers participated, standing rigidly as Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reviewed them while standing in an open-top limousine
Russian President Vladimir Putin (centre) holds a photograph of his father in a naval uniform, as he joins people carrying portraits of relatives who fought in the Second World War
Security was tight at the event and snipers could be seen monitoring the parade from outposts surrounding Red Square
President Vladimir Putin was pictured arriving for the Victory Day military parade in Red Square in Moscow this morning
Vladimir Putin took to the stage to tell thousands of soldiers: ‘We will never forget that it was our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers who brought the freedom to Europe’
This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe. The sombre occasion is a show of respect to the 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians who died during the defeat of the Nazis
This enormous Russian Topol M intercontinental ballistic missile launcher was among a terrifying arsenal of weapons on display
Russian guards march during the Victory Day military parade. On display too were the T-72B3M variant of the T-72 main battle tank
The display was scheduled to begin at 10am in Moscow, 8am London time, with other commemorations held in cities across Russia’s 11 time zones
A debut Victory Day march was scheduled for schoolchildren in Russia’s new ‘Yunarmia’, a 30,000-strong militarised patriotic movement nicknamed the Putin Youth Army and established by the Defence Ministry
The display of military might used by the Moscow-backed insurgents in their three-year conflict against government forces violated the terms of a long-ignored 2015 peace deal.
Donetsk straddles a demarcation line in the industrial east of Ukraine from which both sides’ big guns were meant to have been withdrawn almost two years ago.
An AFP reporter counted 45 pieces of heavy military equipment – ranging from a lone World War II-era tank to its modern versions used in the current war as well as rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns – roll through the city’s main street.
Donetsk separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko led a march of about 1,000 fighters who held up a long banner painted the black and orange colours of Russia’s patriotic Saint George’s ribbon.
Former President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbatchev (centre) was among the VIP guests who watched the parade this morning
Vladimir Putin lays flowers at the Hero Cities memorial by the Kremlin Wall. He has warned his army can ‘repel any aggression’
The Soviet Union is estimated to have lost 26 million people in the war, including 8 million soldiers, and the immense suffering contributes to Victory Day’s status as Russia’s most important secular holiday
Up to 10,000 servicemen and women lined up in Red Square ahead of the vast military display. Putin attended the event this morning
Parades were held across Russia’s sprawling expanse as well as in the Russia-annexed Crimea Peninsula, but the Red Square parade is the centerpiece of the country’s observances
About 10,000 soldiers participated, standing rigidly as Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reviewed them while standing in an open-top limousine, then marching out to make way for a display of military vehicles ranging from armored cars to lumbering Topol ICBM launchers
Former president of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev (centre) was given a helping hand as he attended the event today
At one point Russian artillery was fired as part of tributes to Russia’s war dead. The Soviet Union is estimated to have lost 26 million people in the Second World War, including 8 million soldiers
Others in the parade carried portraits of warlords killed in Europe’s only war, in which more than 10,000 people have died.
Zakharchenko told the crowd that May 9 ‘is the holiest day for us all’.
On the other side of the frontline Ukrainian authorities have joined European nations in marking the end of World War II on May 8 after its 2014 pro-EU revolution. The decision was meant to underscore Ukraine’s split with Russia and embrace of the West.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told a group of soldiers on Tuesday that ‘we will no longer celebrate this holiday along the Russian scenario.’
But several hundred people carrying photographs of relatives who fought in what the Soviet Union called ‘The Great Patriotic War’ still marched through Kiev on Tuesday.
Many Russians were today honouring the dead in their own families by taking part in marches to the Immortal Regiment, holding pictures of relatives who perished in the war
Russian President Vladimir Putin joined other dignitaries as he watched the massive parade this morning
Amid heightened security both President Vladimir Putin (left) and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (right) were there to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany
The Kremlin has been flexing its military muscle in the hydrocarbon-rich Arctic region, as it vies for dominance with rivals Canada, the United States and Norway
The strongman was using the parade today to showcase Russia’s modern military might, with one senior military commander saying it would make foreign foes ‘salivate’.
Preparations: Servicemen gathered in huge numbers before standing to attention as Vladimir Putin arrived this morning
A young child holds red flowers before the parade marking the Second World War anniversary in Moscow this morning
A number of war veterans were invited to watch the Victory Day military parade at Red Square in Moscow today
Vladimir Putin was among the high-ranking Russian officials who attended the event, which saw 10,000 troops march through Red Square
The event included a performance from a military band. Parades were held across Russia’s sprawling expanse
Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Col Gen Oleg Salyukov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces, review the troops during a Victory Day military parade marking the 72nd anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War, the Eastern Front of World War II, in Moscow’s Red Square
People in Sevastopol, Crimea, carry portraits of late Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and World War Two soldiers during the Immortal Regiment march as they celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany
They were confronted by a small group of nationalists who pelted them with several smoke bombs before being restrained by the police.
The atmosphere was calmer on Donetsk’s central Lenin Square.
Entire families watched the hardware roll by and cheered. Some parents dressed up their children in military fatigues.
Lenin Square itself was adorned by a 1960s L-29 Delfin military jet trainer used during the Cold War by nations in central and eastern Europe that were under the Kremlin’s thumb.
A young student came to the rebel parade with a Russian Saint George’s ribbon pinned to his shirt and a bouquet of flowers.
‘I want to see the day when, at the end of our own war, we also get a chance to celebrate Victory Day,’ the 20-year-old told AFP.
‘Our war is almost as long as the Great Patriotic War. It is time to finish it already.’
World War Two veteran Vladimir Ivanov talks to a child during celebrations in Gorky Park marking the 72nd anniversary of the Victory over Nazi Germany
People carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War Two, and Russian and Soviet flags, during the Immortal Regiment march along the Red Square in Moscow
Russians came out in their thousands to remember the country’s war dead, by carrying pictures and portraits of their relatives above their heads
Cadets from the Saint Petersburg Suvorov Military School march and sing in the city’s Palace Square during a Victory Day parade
A pensioner in Ryazan, south east of Moscow, shares a dance with a young women as they celebrate Victory Day
Russian young couples dressed in old style military uniform dance at a traditional veterans meeting point near Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (left). Paratroopers dressed in blue were involved in a huge march on Red Square (right)