- The anniversary of Nazi Germany's defeat, which Russia calls Victory Day, is the country's most significant secular holiday, commemorating the Red Army's military feats and the vast suffering of civilians.
- About 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians are estimated to have died in the war.
- This year's parade included more than 12,000 troops and 190 military vehicles traversing Moscow's Red Square.
- The parade precedes parliamentary elections in September and comes at a time when Moscow's relations with the West are acutely strained over issues ranging from the conflict in Ukraine to the fate of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
- Smaller military parades took place in cities across Russia and in annexed Crimea and at Russia's Hmeymim airbase in Syria.
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