Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (Standing in the car) inspects troops during the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2017. (Xinhua/Wu Zhuang)
MOSCOW, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Russia on Tuesday staged a military parade on Moscow's Red Square to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the victory in World War II (WWII).
About 10,000 Russian servicemen from the ground force, the navy, the air force, the airborne troops and the Federal Security Service participated in the parade, and dozens of military vehicles and armaments were displayed in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, senior officials and war veterans.
In an address prior to the parade, as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, Putin congratulated all on the Victory Day, saying that the victory will forever remain in the history of humankind as "a supreme triumph of life and reason over death and barbarity," to which Russian people made a huge contribution.
"We will never forget that it was our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers who won back Europe's freedom and the long-awaited peace." Putin said while paying tribute to the soldiers who fought and died for their country.
The president underlined that Russia will strengthen the traditions of patriotism and loyalty to the fatherland, and that Russian servicemen, ready for any sacrifice for their homeland and people, "will forever guard Russia as the soldiers of Victory did."
"The lessons of the war teach us to be vigilant, and Russian Armed Forces are ready to counter any potential aggression," Putin said.
Warning that the world is still being plagued by neo-nazism, terrorism, extremism and other threats, Putin called on the strengthening of combat potential and concerted efforts from the international community to meet common challenges.
"We are open to such cooperation. Russia will always side with the forces of peace, with those who stick to equitable partnership," he added.
The parade started at 10 a.m local time (0700 GMT). Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, riding in an open-roof limousine, reviewed the neatly-dressed troops in orderly alignment, before the 27 foot formations marched across the ribbon-decorated Red Square to Russia's national anthem played by the military band.
Following the troops were dozens of pieces of armaments, including a Tigr armored vehicle, a T-14 Armata tank, BMD-4 M Sadovnitsa infantry fighting vehicles, a Msta-S self-propelled howitzer, and the S-400 Triumf air defense missile system, among others.
The Pantsir-SA air defense system and Tor-M2 air defense system were showcased for the first time during the military parade.
The air show that traditionally serves as the conclusion of the parade was canceled due to unfavorable weather conditions.
After the parade, Putin laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers outside the Red Square.
Apart from Moscow, 25 Russian cities including St. Petersburg, Volgograd and Murmansk had their own military parades to commemorate the victory.
In addition to celebration, the Russians also see the annual commemoration as a good opportunity for their country to showcase its military forces and to stir up national pride.
"I'm spending the Victory Day with my family," well-known vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva told Xinhua, "The military parade is of great significance to our country, and I feel extremely proud and honored."
The Victory Day is one of the most ceremonious festivals in Russia. Members of the Commonwealth of Independence States have been following the tradition since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.