The annual military parade to commemorate the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 was held in the Russian capital on Wednesday. This 73rd-anniversary parade presented 13,000 people, 159 pieces of military equipment and 75 aircraft taking part in the traditional Victory Day parade.
Attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and distinguished guests including Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, the impressive display was directed by Russia’s Ground Forces Commander Col. Gen. Oleg Salyukov, with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, serving as the parade's inspector. President Putin offered this sentiment during his speech before the crowd:
“The Soviet Union determined the outcome of that war, saving millions. Some people are currently trying to rewrite and distort history – and will never allow them to do that.”
The star of the military spectacle was clearly the Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jets previously spotted over Syria in real-world combat. The fifth-generation aircraft are billed as Russia’s answer to the U.S. F-22 Raptor stealth fighter, with first deliveries expected next year.
Also featured were new hypersonic missiles, drones, and robotic fighting vehicles now deployed by Russia's armed forces. The new “Terminator” fighting vehicles and updates to the Armata and T-72 tank series also roared across the cobbles in Moscow yesterday.
Present at the ceremonies, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu looked on in anticipation of talks with Vladimir Putin over the Iran/Syria situation. Netanyahu insists the Iranian presence in Syria is a "threat to his country and a major threat in the Middle East”. However, some insist the Israeli PM's visit to Moscow was timed to coincide with US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.
The leaders of Israel and Russia are due to hold talks later today.