Putin Addresses Victory Day Parade in Moscow, Says World Peace 'Very Fragile' Today

Published May 10th, 2018 - 06:00 GMT
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with military personnel during the Victory Day parade at Red Square in Moscow on May 9, 2018 / AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with military personnel during the Victory Day parade at Red Square in Moscow on May 9, 2018 / AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin today said world peace is 'very fragile' as he addressed the traditional parade to commemorate the victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

Russia showcased some of its most modern armaments at the annual Victory Day parade in Moscow's Red Square.

The Russian President was joined by foreign dignitaries including Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Serbia President Aleksandar Vucic.

In a speech at the solemn event, he warned: 'Mankind has to realise that peace is very fragile.

'Russia is open to dialogue on all different aspects of global security.'

The annual parade marks the tens of millions of Soviet soldiers and civilians who died in the Second World War, but it came at a period of unprecedented tension in the world since the end of the Cold War.

Some 13,000 servicemen and women marched across Red Square as Putin watched from close to Lenin's mausoleum.

The parade was one of many which took place across Russia on Wednesday involving a total of 55,000 troops, 1,200 weapons systems and 150 war planes in 28 Russian cities.

Some 159 tanks and other military armaments were displayed and there was a flypast of 75 aircraft.

Included were Russia's newest Terminator armoured fighting vehicle.

 

 

From the country's new robot forces the display included for the first time the Uran-9 unmanned tank - war-tested in Syria - seen as capable of ambushing NATO forces and Korsar short range attack drones.

Putin's new state-of-the-art Su-57 stealth fighter made its debut flying over the Kremlin fresh from war zone trials in Syria.

On parade too were Russia's nuclear missiles including the TOPOL-M alongside armoured vehicles from the Second World War such as the T34 tank.

Other weapons on display on Red Square included Russia's Yars mobile intercontinental nuclear missile launcher, its Iskander-M ballistic missile launchers, and its advanced S-400 air defence missile system, which Moscow has deployed in Syria to protect its forces

There was also the first public outing of the Kinjal (Dagger) hypersonic missile, carried by advanced MiG-31K interceptor jets, was one of several world premieres for Russian weapons.

Around 1.6 million people recognised as World War II veterans are still alive in Russia.

'This is a holiday which has always been, is now, and always will be sacred for every family,' Putin said, greeting a watching crowd including veterans decked out in medals on a bright sunny morning.

Russia's most advanced fifth generation Su-57 stealth fighter, which has undergone testing in Syria, also took part in the parade for the first time, as did an unmanned armoured reconnaissance and infantry support vehicle, the Uran-9.

Armed with a 30mm automatic cannon, a machine gun, anti-tank missiles and a rocket launcher, it looks like something out of a Hollywood science fiction film.

An unmanned de-mining vehicle, the Uran-6, was also put on show, as were Russia's latest military drones and an armoured vehicle designed to support tanks on the battlefield dubbed 'The Terminator' by its maker.

An advanced Russian military snowmobile fitted with a machine gun, the Berkut, built to bolster Moscow's Arctic ambitions, also traversed the cobbled square.

Putin poured scorn on those, who he said, are trying to 'rewrite history' and downplay the Soviet Union's role in overcoming the Nazis.

'Today people are trying to erase the feat of our people in saving Europe from slavery, from extinction, from the horrors of the Holocaust,' Putin warned, saying they are trying to 'forge, rewrite and misinterpret the events of the war.'

'We won't ever let them do this.'

The national leaders later took part in a ceremony with Putin at the Memorial to the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin walls.

Hollywood action star Steven Seagal was also watching from the stands, after attending Putin's inauguration on Monday.

Referring directly to the current political situation, Putin warned against a repeat of World War II, saying that 'behind new threats are the same ugly traits: egotism, intolerance, aggressive nationalism and claims to be unique.'

His speech concluded with shouts of 'Hurrah!' from the assembled forces.

Putin has sharply increased military spending over the 18 years he has dominated Russian politics, handed the Russian military significant policy-making clout, and deployed Russian forces in Ukraine and Syria, stoking tensions with the West.

Marking one of the most heartfelt national holidays in Russia, thousands across the country were set to take part in marches through city centres holding up photographs of their relatives who fought in World War II, a new tradition that has taken root as the number of living veterans has dwindled.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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