Russia holds WW2 victory parade

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Russia is celebrating its biggest public holiday, Victory Day, with a military parade that was meant to be held on 9 May.

President Vladimir Putin postponed the big annual celebration because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is 75 years since the then USSR defeated Nazi Germany. World War Two cost more than 20 million Soviet lives.

Moscow’s lockdown has eased this month, enabling the parade, featuring tanks and long-range missiles, to go ahead.

The annual parade – starting this year at 10:00 (07:00 GMT) – is always an occasion for President Putin to harness Russian patriotic feelings, in a way reminiscent of Soviet times.

He has restored Cold War-era Soviet symbols, and in 2008 he reintroduced heavy weaponry in the parade. The black-and-gold wartime St George’s ribbon is especially ubiquitous.

Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allies – Britain, the US and USSR – on 8 May 1945. But traditionally Russia and the other ex-Soviet republics mark the victory on 9 May.