Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (1st L) and Ground Forces Commander-in-Chief Oleg Salyukov pass by after the Victory Day military parade to mark the 77th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Yuan Xinfang)

MOSCOW– Russia held a grand military parade in central Moscow’s Red Square on Monday to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in the Great Patriotic War.

In an address to troops and guests ahead of the annual event, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “it is our duty to keep the memory of those who crushed Nazism and bequeathed vigilance to us, and do everything so that the horror of a global war does not happen again.” 

Russia has always advocated for creating a system of equal and indivisible security, a system that is vital for the entire world community, he said. 

In December last year, Putin recalled that Russia proposed concluding an agreement on security guarantees and called on the West to hold an honest dialogue taking into account each other’s interests.

Putin blasted some Western countries for “cynical falsifications of the history of World War II” and underscored that Russia honors all the soldiers of the Allied armies who defeated Nazism and militarism. 

Before Putin’s speech, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in a black open-top limousine, reviewed the troops lined up on Red Square and wished them a happy Victory Day.

The troops in full dress chanted “Hooray!” in reply. 

About 11,000 soldiers in 33 formations marched across Red Square, followed by a mechanized convoy of 131 modern weapons and military equipment.

The ceremony lasted about one hour, and the aviation part of the parade was canceled due to weather conditions. 

After the parade, Putin laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexander Garden outside the Kremlin wall. 

Military parades were held in 28 Russian cities to mark the victory in the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) against Nazi Germany, an integral part of World War II.

The Soviet Union lost roughly 27 million people, both soldiers and civilians, according to official statistics. – Xinhua