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Russia has revealed Wednesday that tens of thousands of people and hundreds of aircraft are set to participate in military parades on May 9 to celebrate its victory in World War II.
The scope of the demonstrations, which were outlined by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during a meeting with Moscow’s armed forces, come as President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is in its 70th day.
In a Telegram post summarizing the meeting, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said “11,000 people, 131 pieces of weapons and military equipment and 77 aircraft will take part in the parade on Red Square, dedicated to the 77th anniversary of the Victory.”
Russian self-propelled artillery vehicles, tanks and military vehicles roll along Tverskaya street toward Red Square during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, April 28. (AP)
“This year, military parades will take place in 28 Russian cities,” it added. “They will involve nearly 65,000 people, about 2,400 four hundred weapons and military equipment, and more than 460 aircraft.”
In late April, images emerged of dozens of Russian military vehicles thundering through the streets of Moscow during a rehearsal there for the May 9 parade.
Self-propelled artillery vehicles Msta-S drive past the Winter Palace during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday, April 28.
Speaking about the war in Ukraine Wednesday, Russia’s Ministry of Defense also said “the US and its NATO allies continue to pump Ukraine with weapons.
“Any North Atlantic Alliance transport arriving in the country with weapons or material for the needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is considered a legitimate target for us to hit,” it warned.
Cadets march during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday, April 28.
“In the course of the special operation, our servicemen are showing courage and bravery, honorably fulfilling their military duty and ensuring the safety of the Donbas population,” the ministry added, referring to the ongoing fighting in eastern Ukraine.