Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Stephen Cohen on Russia's Victory Day

Moscow Victory Parade 1945-2017 and Russian identity in the New Cold War
Stephen F. Cohen, @nyu @princeton University

"Russia has sought to show off its military might during a Victory Day parade in Moscow.

The parade featuring tanks, intercontinental ballistic missiles and troops in tight formation was part of celebrations marking the anniversary of the surrender of Nazi Germany in the Second World War, Russia's most important secular holiday.

But thick cloud cover forced the cancellation of the traditional dramatic conclusion to festivities — a flyover by military aircraft and display teams. The parade is a highly ritualised display and marked changes in its order are unusual.

The Defence Ministry had said cloud-seeding planes would be deployed to disperse the overcast skies Tuesday above Moscow, as has been done previously when poor weather threatened.

President Vladimir Putin said in his parade address that "we feel a piercing blood relationship with a generation of heroes and winners".

Russian marines, Arctic vehicles and artillery were all on show, as well as historic T-34 tanks that were influential on Second World War battlefields. A number of missile launchers also trundled across Red Square.

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