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Russia starts Victory Day parade amid tight security

2023-05-09T07:10:52Z

Russian President Vladimir Putin walked from the Kremlin on to Red Square to be greeted by mass ranks of military personnel on Tuesday as the start of a Victory Day celebrations to mark the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War Two.

Victory Day is one of the most important public holidays in Russia, when people commemorate the huge sacrifices made by the Soviet Union during what is called the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45, in which around 27 million citizens perished.

This anniversary is even more emotionally charged as Russia mourns thousands of soldiers killed in the nearly 15-month war in Ukraine which shows no sign of ending.

It is taking place following a wave of strikes inside Russia this month – including a purported drone attack on the Kremlin citadel itself less than a week ago.

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Russian service members march in columns before a rehearsal for a military parade, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Moscow, Russia May 7, 2023. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

An emergencies ministry member stands guard on a closed bridge near the Kremlin before a rehearsal for a military parade, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Moscow, Russia May 7, 2023. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Russian service members march in columns before a rehearsal for a military parade, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Moscow, Russia May 7, 2023. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

A Russian service member erects a flag on a Bumerang (Boomerang) wheeled armoured personnel carrier parked in Tverskaya Street before a rehearsal for a military parade, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in central Moscow, Russia May 7, 2023. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

Russian service members march in columns before a rehearsal for a military parade, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Moscow, Russia May 7, 2023. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov