Before the parade, at the Armorial Hall of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin greeted the leaders of foreign states and major international organisations who have come to Moscow to take part in the celebrations.
The military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War has become one of the largest in the history of Red Square, involving 16,000 servicemen, 194 units of land-based military equipment and 143 aircraft and helicopters.
More than 2,000 veterans of the Great Patriotic War attended the parade in Red Square as guests of honour.
The parade began with the trooping the Victory Banner and the State Flag of Russia.
In memory of all the fallen during the Great Patriotic War, for the first time during a military parade Vladimir Putin announced a minute of silence.
In keeping with tradition, the parade was opened by drummers from the Moscow Military Music School followed by groups carrying banners of the ten fronts of the final stage of the Great Patriotic War.
Next, parade crews from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, India, Mongolia, Serbia and China marched across Red Square.
Russia’s Armed Forces were represented by servicemen of military academies, Suvorov and Nakhimov military schools, cadet academies, servicemen of the Western Military District, the Emergency Situations Ministry, Interior Ministry troops, and Border Guards of the Federal Security Service. For the first time, female students from a cadet boarding school took part in the parade.
The historical part of the parade’s mechanised section was represented by the legendary Т-34–85 tanks and SU-100 self-propelled artillery units.
The historical hardware was followed by modern military armoured vehicles, including Tigr and Typhoon, BTR-82A and Rakushka armoured personnel carriers, BMD-4M combat vehicles and armoured personnel carriers based on Kurganets, Armata and Boomerang platforms. The parade also featured T90A and Armata tanks, Msta-S and Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled artillery units, Iskander, Buk-M2 and Tor-M2Y missile systems, Pantsir-S1 air-defence missile-gun units, S-400 launch systems and Yars land-based mobile missile system.
The parade ended with a flyover of Russia’s aviation, including the Russkiye Vityazi [The Russian Knights] and Strizhi [The Swift] aerobatic teams demonstrating the famous Cuban Diamond formation on nine Su-27 and MiG-29 fighters. Pilots of the Sokoly Rossii [The Russian Falcons] team formed the tactical wing on ten aircraft. The helicopters formation included the Berkuty aerobatic team flying Mi-28N Night Hunter helicopters. The air section of the parade also featured the Tu-160 White Swan strategic missile bomber, Il-78 air-to-air refuelling tanker aircraft, Il-76 heavy military transport aircraft and army and combat aviation groups. Flying over Red Square for the first time were generation 4++ Su-35 and Su-30 fighters, modernised Mi-35M attack and Ansat-U training helicopters.
After the parade, together with the heads of foreign states and governments, Vladimir Putin paid tribute to those who were killed in the Great Patriotic War by laying flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Alexander Garden.