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The thousands of ‘soldiers’ marching in Russia’s Victory parade weren’t actual combat troops, UK intel says

Russian soldiers march toward Red Square to attend a Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, May 9, 2023.Russian soldiers march toward Red Square to attend a Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, May 9, 2023.

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

  • The “soldiers” that marched in Russia’s Victory Day Parade weren’t combat soldiers, UK intel said.
  • UK intel said that the majority were auxiliary, paramilitary, and cadets from training camps.
  • The parade featured only one old tank, no aircraft, and a few reluctant world leaders. 

Russia’s Victory Day Parade seemingly featured over 8,000 soldiers marching in Red Square, giving the impression of a strong and capable military force. But UK intelligence says the majority of them likely weren’t actual, deployable soldiers fighting in combat.

In an intelligence update on Wednesday, the UK Ministry of Defense said: “Over 8,000 personnel reportedly took part in the parade, but the majority were auxiliary, paramilitary forces, and cadets from military training establishments.”

It’s likely that available deployable troops are already currently stationed in Ukraine, the ministry said.

The ministry added: “The only personnel from deployable formations of regular forces were contingents of Railway Troops and military police.” 

The annual Victory Day Parade — which commemorates the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 — typically shows off Russia’s military might and equipment. But this year’s celebration featured a much more scaled-back version of the pomp and circumstance. 

Just one Soviet T-34 tank was present. No aircraft were displayed in the parade.

And while Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped to portray a strong anti-West alliance with attendance from Central Asian world leaders and politicians from Belarus and Armenia, analysts suggested most of the guests weren’t particularly thrilled to be there. 

Read the original article on Business Insider