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Issue #1593      May 15, 2013

Red Square parade makes Russian Victory Day a fiesta

MOSCOW: On May 9 Russia honoured the 68th anniversary of Nazis’ capitulation, with the yearly Victory Day parade on Red Square. Tens of thousands of spectators from home and abroad, knowing it was impossible to get onto the site without invitations, flooded along the Moscow river, where a glimpse of the showcase could be caught.

Minutes after the Kremlin bell tolled at 10am Moscow time, a sudden artillery salvo from the other side of the river bank, followed by several more rang out.

As the first regiment, cadets of military schools, marched past, the crowds burst into applause and cheers while souvenir vendors twisted their way in between.

Professional photographers carrying ladders and lenses struggled for decent shooting angles, some climbing onto nearby roofs.

Vehicles were barred some 200 metres from the river bank but cyclists could squeeze through.

“I rode more than one hour to get here, just to see the parade,” a male cyclist called Alexei said, adding it was the first time he had come to watch the parade.

Dmitry, 29, said he was proud of his country while watching a live video report via a portable tablet computer. His six-year-old son, Max, perched on his shoulders, kept screaming in astonishment as regiments of ground forces rolled by.

The crowds rejoiced at the climax when 68 aircraft, including Mi-28 attack helicopters Mi-28, and Su-27 and Tu-160 strategic bombers, rocked the Moscow sky.

Young people wearing USSR T-shirts and army caps exchanged greetings. A considerable number of veterans with rows of medals saluted the aerobatic teams.

People, waving flags and chanting, started to withdraw from the site at around 11am, an hour after the parade kicked off.

Members of a military band, who left the square along a bridge over the river, waved to the crowds, some even playing a little impromptu music.

Xinhua

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