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People watch Msta-S self-propelled artillery vehicles roll during the Victory Day military parade in Dvortsovaya (Palace) Square in St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, May 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

PA

Shouts of “Hurray!” echoed in Moscow’s Red Square on Monday by thousands of soldiers and war veterans as Russia celebrated Victory Day, marking the Soviet Union’s defeat by Nazi Germany 77 years ago to end to World War II in Europe.

Missiles, tanks and other armored vehicles rumbled on the cobblestones during the annual military parade, and thousands of troops marched in close formation as President Vladimir Putin looked on with other dignitaries.

In a speech, he cited Russian troops currently fighting in Ukraine and called for a minute’s silence to honor the soldiers who died there.

Victory Day, which takes place every May 9, is Russia’s most important holiday, celebrated across the country and in many countries of the former Soviet Union with parades, concerts and bonfires. ‘artifice. Russians parade with portraits of the so-called “Immortal Regiment” – their relatives who fought in World War II. Putin joined the march and carried a photo of his father.

The Soviet Union lost 27 million people in the war, which it calls the Great Patriotic War.