Russian Parade Showcases New Weapons

Russian Parade Showcases New WeaponsRussian Parade Showcases New Weapons

Russian armed forces paraded in central Moscow on Monday to mark the 71st anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, displaying some of Russia's latest military hardware, including the RS-24 Yars long-range nuclear missile.

Fighters, heavy bombers and helicopters flew over Red Square, including types combat-tested in Syria, where Russian aircraft are helping government forces.

The march past included Russia's new National Guard. The National Guard will be armed with new AK-74M machine guns and will be tasked with fighting terrorism and organized crime. Those operations are currently the domain of interior ministry Omon and Sobr special forces.

The parade involved 10,000 military staff, 135 armored vehicles and 71 aircraft. Victory Day is an occasion for the Kremlin to stir up patriotic feelings, as Russians remember the sacrifices made in World War Two.

Russia is plowing billions of dollars into modernizing its military, amid tension with NATO over the conflict in Ukraine. So the annual parade also shows off Russian military might for an international audience.

For the first time, a contingent from the Russian space forces joined the parade—officers and cadets from a military academy that produced famous Soviet cosmonauts, including Yuri Gagarin and German Titov.

The heavy armor included new Russian anti-aircraft missile systems—the S-400 and Pantsir—as well as the Iskander medium-range missile.