The Victory Day military parade in progress at Moscow's Red Square on Tuesday (All images courtesy: Kremlin.ru)
With the armed conflict in Ukraine showing no signs of de-escalation, Russia on Tuesday displayed its military might at the annual Victory Parade on Moscow’s Red Square to mark the 78th anniversary of Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War.
The occasion also gave an opportunity to the Russia-led Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) grouping to showcase its unity amid the ongoing geopolitical crisis in the region as several leaders of foreign states joined Russian President Vladimir Putin on the podium.
Attending the military parade together with Putin were Armenia Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Presidents of Belarus (Alexander Lukashenko), Kazakhstan (Kassym-Jomart Tokayev), Kyrgyzstan (Sadyr Japarov), Tajikistan (Emomali Rahmon), Turkmenistan (Serdar Berdimuhamedov) and Uzbekistan (Shavkat Mirziyoyev).
More than 8,000 military personnel, including 530 fighters from Russia’s ongoing ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, passed through Red Square.
⚡️Female soldiers now passing through the red square pic.twitter.com/Va1uzFXuL9
— War Monitor (@WarMonitors) May 9, 2023
The legendary ‘Victory Tank’ T-34-85 tank opened the passage of the mechanized column which included high-security armoured vehicles Tiger-M, BTR-82A, BMP ‘Boomerang’, tactical missile system ‘Iskander-M’, launchers of anti-aircraft missile systems S-400 ‘Triumph’ and mobile ground missile systems ‘Yars’.
For the first time, the latest Spartak and 3-STS Akhmat armoured vehicles – which have been developed taking into account the requirements of the Russian military personnel participating in the Ukraine conflict – took part in the parade.
The 6 x 6 wheel arrangement Akhmat, which the Russian manufacturer claims was created in 25 days, is used for delivery of troops, military cargo and the wounded with the possibility of providing medical care on the go.
Moscow claims that there are no analogues of Spartak in terms of security in the world today and, if necessary, it can be turned into a truck by installing a special platform on it. After the necessary re-equipment, the machine can be used for electronic warfare (EW) or the needs of military doctors.
‘Tiger-M’ is one of the main novelties among armoured vehicles with combat modules created for Russian special forces. It is equipped with a remote-controlled module ‘Arbalet-DM-M’, designed to combat Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
Iskander, claims Russia, is the only operational tactical missile system in the world that uses both ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. It is capable of flying at the lowest possible altitude along the trajectory set by the operator and can bend around the terrain, which makes it invisible to enemy air defences.
“Not a single modern air defence system is capable of repelling our missile attack. The complex is not afraid of enemy electronic warfare and it is almost impossible to intercept the Iskander missile,” the Russian Defence Ministry quoted the head of the Iskander-M Operational-Tactical Missile System (OTRK) crew as saying last year.
Russia’s S-400 is a new generation long-range anti-aircraft missile system which is designed to destroy all modern and promising means of aerospace attack, in particular aircraft of various types, tactical, operational-tactical ballistic missiles, hypersonic targets, and jammers.
Having the capability to hit targets at a range of up to 400km, the S-400 Triumph Air Defence Missile Systems will also significantly enhance the air defence capability of India which signed an agreement with Russia in 2016 for its supply.
In his speech at the military parade on Tuesday, Putin stated that while the civilization is “once again at a decisive turning point”, Russia believes that there are no unfriendly, hostile peoples either in the West or in the East.
“Like the vast majority of people on the planet, we want to see a future of peace, freedom and stability. We believe that any ideology of superiority is inherently disgusting, criminal and deadly,” said the Russian President.
Putin remarked that an “irreversible movement towards a more just multipolar world” based on the principles of trust and indivisible security, equal opportunities for the original and free development of all countries and peoples is gaining momentum.
“It is very important that the leaders of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States have gathered here today in Moscow. I see in this a grateful attitude to the feat of our ancestors: they fought together and won together – all the peoples of the USSR contributed to the common Victory,” he said.