Russia celebrated Victory Day Amid shadows of terror and conflict
Russia celebrated Victory Day Amid shadows of terror and conflict

Moscow: Russia marked the 79th anniversary of its victory on May 9, over Nazi Germany in World War II with parades, concerts, and jubilant crowds filling the streets of Moscow. Despite recent turmoil, including a deadly terror attack in Moscow and conflict along the Ukrainian border, the celebratory spirit remained undimmed.

The annual military parade, a centerpiece of the festivities, unfolded on Moscow's Red Square, showcasing over 9,000 troops and 70 pieces of military equipment. Despite an unexpected snowfall, thousands thronged subway stations and streets, heavily guarded by armed police.

Security was heightened following a recent terrorist attack, with extensive surveillance both underground and on the streets. "Braving the cold wind and snow, we still want to experience Victory Day firsthand," said Alexander, a young resident.

Across Russia, cities joined in commemorations. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu anticipated 150,000 participants and 2,500 military assets in various ceremonies.

President Vladimir Putin, beginning his fifth term, and leaders from allied nations observed the parade. Ambassadors from "unfriendly countries" were notably absent, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova.

In his address, Putin vowed to prevent global conflict while asserting Russia's readiness to defend itself. This year's parade, slightly smaller in scale due to the Ukrainian conflict, featured NATO weaponry captured from Ukraine, signaling Russia's military prowess and defiance against Western pressure, experts noted.

Amid strained relations with the West, marked by severe sanctions and the withdrawal of many Western brands, life in Russia has adapted. Despite initial impacts, locals have embraced domestic alternatives, seeing opportunities for economic revival.

"I used to love Italian fashion brands, but now I've turned to local designers, which are excellent and more affordable," remarked Ksenia Bondarenko, reflecting optimism about Russia's economic future amidst adversity.
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