Russia celebrates Victory Day

Monday, May 10, 2010

Russia yesterday celebrated Victory Day, to commemorate the 65th anniversary of Nazi Germany's surrender.

The logo for the celebration

In a first for the annual celebrations, soldiers from other countries joined in the parade, including those from former Soviet allies in the war: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Poland.

Leaders from other countries were present at the event, including Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, the Polish acting president Bronislaw Komorowski, Israel's Shimon Peres, and China's president, Hu Jintao.

Media reports describe the events as being among the most elaborate since the Soviet Union fell apart two decades ago. Anti-aircraft rockets, mobile howitzers, and missiles rolled through Red Square, and 150 airplanes and helicopters performed a flyover shortly thereafter.

Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev speaking during the celebrations at Red Square, appealed for international solidarity: "Only together can we counter present-day threats. Only as good neighbours can we resolve problems of global security in order that the ideals of justice and good triumph in all of the world and that the lives of future generations will be free and happy."