A military parade dedicated to the 66th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in the 1941-45 Great Patriotic War was launched on Moscow's Red Square at 10:00 a.m. Moscow time (06:00 GMT) on Monday.
The parade involves about 20,000 servicemen and cadets. Two hundred elite officers from Russia's Space Forces march on Red Square for the first time in history of the Victory Day parades.
The servicemen are wearing new-style field uniforms, introduced in the Russian Armed Forces this year.
The event also involves a march pass of over 100 pieces of military hardware, including Topol-M ballistic missile launchers, S-400 Triumph air defense systems, Pantsyr-S1 air defense systems, Iskander-M missile launchers, Smerch multiple rocket launchers, BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, and T-90 main battle tanks.
Deputy chief of the Russian General Staff, Col. Gen. Valery Gerasimov, is running the parade.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev addressed the participants and guests at the beginning of the parade.
"Our duty is to safeguard peace achieved by the Victory," Medvedev said, adding that the modernization and development of the Armed Forces remains a key priority for the Russian leadership.
RIA Novosti broadcasts the parade live on its website.
The first Victory Parade was held on Red Square on June 24, 1945 on the order of the then-Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Joseph Stalin.
According to latest studies, the total causalities of the Soviet Union, both soldiers and civilians, were 26.6 million people, of those an estimated 8,668,400 soldiers died.
MOSCOW, May 9 (RIA Novosti)