Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to create “a modern, non-aligned system of international security” as the Kremlin marked the 71st anniversary of victory in the “Great Patriotic War” with a massive military parade.
According to the Kremlin, the parade included 10,000 people including soldiers, military academy students and law enforcement.
“This year, more than 130 pieces of modern military hardware crossed Red Square: Tigr multipurpose vehicles, T-90 and Armata tanks, BTR-82A armored personnel carriers, BMP-3 infantry combat vehicles, Msta-S self-propelled howitzers, and Buk-M2, Pantsir-S and Yars air defense systems,” the Kremlin said in an official statement.
That was followed by an air display over the Red Square parade route. “The Mi-26, the world’s largest military transport helicopter, opened the airborne part of the parade. It was accompanied by four Mi-8AMTSh helicopters, known as the ‘Terminator’, and they were followed by the Mi-28H Night Hunter, the Ka-52 Alligator, and the Mi-35.”
A new Il-76MD-90A military transport plane was debuted. “Other aircraft to fly over Red Square included the An-124–100 Ruslan, Su-24 and Su-34 bombers, Su-25 attack planes, the MiG-29 and Su-27 fighter aircraft, the new multipurpose Su-35C fighter planes, the MiG-31 interceptor aircraft, the Il-78 refuelling tanker, and the Tu-22M3, Tu-95MS and Tu-160 long-range bombers,” the Kremlin added.
Putin called World War II an “epoch of courage and bravery” for Russia.
“Comrades, history lessons teach us that peace on Earth is not established by itself, that one needs to be cautious, that double standards as well as shortsighted indulgence of those who nurture criminal plans are impermissible,” Putin said at the parade.
“…Our soldiers and commanders have proven that they are worthy successors of the Great Patriotic War heroes and that they honorably protect the interests of Russia.”
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook did not have comment on the military display other than to acknowledge it was “quite substantial.”
The Pentagon budget reportedly proposes cutting the Army to the lowest levels since WWII as Russia bulks up its military and vows to deploy more divisions along its border with former Soviet states.
Cook acknowledged “tough decisions were made in this budget,” which “has the nation’s security interests in mind, given the budget realities.”
“The budget that the secretary has presented, that he has worked on closely, collaboratively with the services, including the Army, represents a budget that puts priorities on where the secretary believes we should be spending our money — that is readiness, that is of course innovation, making sure America’s warfighters have what they need today and in the future,” he said. “…Everybody wishes we had more dollars to spend.”
While Putin threw a military parade, the Pentagon forgot to mention the May 8 V.E. Day anniversary.
“It is important. Thank you for reminding me,” Cook said today when prodded by a reporter. “It is an important day in history. A lot of things going on today, and that did slip my — did slip from my original list. But I did notice some of the observations around the world today.”