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Friday, May 10, 2019, 11:09
Russia celebrates Victory Day to mark end of WWII
By Associated Press
Friday, May 10, 2019, 11:09 By Associated Press

Russian army servicewomen march during the Victory Day military parade in St Petersburg, Russia, May 9, 2019. Victory Day is Russia's most important secular holiday, commemorating the Red Army's determination and losses in World War II. (PHOTO / AP)

MOSCOW — Across Russia, millions of people came out for military parades and civilian processions to mark Victory Day, the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

Although the fighting ended 74 years ago, widespread commemorations keep the ordeal prominent in Russia's collective memory

An estimated 26 million Soviet citizens died in the war, including 8 million soldiers. Although the fighting ended 74 years ago, widespread commemorations keep the ordeal prominent in Russia's collective memory.

Thursday's centerpieces in Moscow included a morning military parade in Red Square attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and an afternoon march called the Immortal Regiment.

READ MORE: China marks 73rd anniversary of Japan's WWII surrender

The parade was a highly ritualized production of about 13,000 Russian servicemen marching in tight formation across the vast square in Moscow, followed by about 130 military vehicles including tanks and missile launchers. There was no flyover by military aircraft this year because of cloudy weather and possible storms.

In the afternoon, an estimated half-million people streamed down a main Moscow thoroughfare, many holding photos of relatives who fought in the war.

ALSO READ: Twin brothers reunited 74 years after WWII death at Normandy

Similar parades and marches were held in cities throughout Russia and in neighboring Ukraine.

People carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, and Russian and Soviet flags, during the Immortal Regiment march through the main street toward Red Square celebrating 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2019. (DENIS TYRIN / AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, holds a portrait of his father Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin, in front of him, as he walks among other people carrying portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, during the Immortal Regiment march through Red Square celebrating 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2019. ( ALEXEI DRUZHININ, SPUTNIK, KREMLIN POOL PHOTO VIA AP)

An honor guard takes position during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2019. (PHOTO / AP)

Russian tanks T-72 B3 drive during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2019. (ALEXANDER ZEMLIANCHENKO / AP)

Russian troops march during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2019. (ALEXANDER ZEMLIANCHENKO / AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with WWII veterans prior to a military parade marking 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2019. (ALEXEI DRUZHININ, SPUTNIK, KREMLIN POOL PHOTO VIA AP)

Russians stand during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2019.  (ALEXANDER ZEMLIANCHENKO / AP)

People carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, and Soviet flags, during the Immortal Regiment march through the main street toward Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2019, celebrating 74 years since the end of WWII and the defeat of Nazi Germany. (DMITRY SEREBRYAKOV / AP)


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