MOSCOW – The Russian government mandated quarantine in response to the coronavirus pandemic, resulted in a big change of plans from what would have been a massive Victory Day observation – 75 years since the victory of the USSR over fascism and Nazi Germany, which saved Europe.
Instead today, an air parade was held in the skies over Moscow in honor of the 75th anniversary of Victory Day. In addition, Putin addressed a televised audience at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The parade was begun by helicopters: the heaviest Mi-26 helicopter in the world, accompanied by four Mi-8 “Terminator” military transport helicopters, the Golden Eagle aerobatic team on five Mi-28N “Night Hunter”, four Ka-52 “Alligators” and “Crocodiles” Mi-24.
Following the Muscovites saw a “flying radar” or “Russian AWACS” – a modernized A-50U long-range radar detection and control aircraft.
Long-range aircraft took part in the parade: strategic missile-bomber Tu-160 “White Swan”. He was accompanied by four Tu-22M3 and four “strategists” Tu-95MS. Another Tu-160 strategic bomber simulated a refueling in flight from an Il-78 air tanker.
After that, MiG-29 fighters, Su-24 bombers, MiG-31K long-range interceptors with Dagger hypersonic missiles and fifth-generation Su-57 fighters flew in groups of four aircraft.
Vladimir Putin addressed the Russians, congratulating fellow citizens on the holiday.
“Dear citizens of Russia! Dear veterans! Dear friends!
With all my heart I congratulate you on Victory Day!
For all of us, this is the most important, most costly holiday. We always celebrate it solemnly and popularly, all together.
The spiritual, moral significance of Victory Day remains invariably great, and our attitude towards it remains sacred.
This is our memory and pride, the history of our country, the history of each family, part of our souls that were passed on to us by fathers and mothers, our grandparents.
Today we keenly feel the greatness of their destinies, remember those who are no longer with us, look at their faces with love in photographs of different years, wish our veterans long life, bow before the great generation of winners.
They have done so much for the Motherland that it can’t be measured, paid for in any way. They saved the Fatherland, the life of future generations, liberated Europe, defended the world, restored cities and villages, achieved grandiose accomplishments.
We pay tribute to the endless recognition of the great, sacrificial feat of the Soviet people, people of different nationalities, standing shoulder to shoulder at the front and in the rear. Time has no power over their courage, unity, dignity and truly steel spirit.
Here, at the Kremlin wall, is a sacred place for all of us.
Eternal fire burns day and night in memory of those who died in the Great Patriotic War.
Here lies the Unknown Soldier. We come here to bow to him and all the defenders of the Motherland, heroes who forever remained in mass, unknown graves near Moscow and Smolensk, Stalingrad and Kursk, near Sevastopol and Minsk, Kiev and Riga, near Berlin and Vienna, on the Pulkovo Heights, on the banks of the Neva , Dnieper, Danube, Vistula and Oder.
Millions of the fallen did not see, did not wait for the Victory – the Victory that they so dreamed about, they believed that they would defeat the enemy and return to their native home. And they fought for it, fought to the last breath, gave their lives so that we, our children and grandchildren, those who have not yet been born, who have to come to this world, which have defended, have saved the Soviet soldier.
We bow our heads to the blessed memory of everyone who has not returned from the war, to the memory of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, fellow soldiers, relatives, friends.
A minute of silence is announced.
(A moment of silence.)
75 years have passed since the Great Patriotic War ended. We will, as usual, widely and solemnly mark the anniversary date, we will do it with dignity, as our duty to those who have suffered, achieved and achieved the Victory tells us.
There will be our main parade on Red Square, and the national march of the Immortal Regiment – the march of our grateful memory and inextricable, vital, lively communication between generations.
Our veterans fought for life against death. And we will always be equal to their unity and stamina.
We are united by a common memory and common hopes, our common aspirations, our responsibility for the present and future.
We know and firmly believe that we are invincible when we are together.
Happy holiday to you! Happy Victory Day! Hooray!”