Times of Oman
Price in RO
24ct / gm
22ct / gm
Forex Rates vs R01
Back to Homepage
Russia flexes military muscle on Victory Day
May 09, 2013 , 1 : 43 pm GST
SAVE THIS ARTICLE
A formation of jets fly over St. Basil's Cathedral during the Victory Parade in Moscow May 9, 2013. Russia commemorates the 68th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany on May 9. Photo - Reuters
Fighter jets screamed over Red Square and heavy tanks rumbled over its cobblestones Thursday as Russia flexed its military muscle on the anniversary of its costly victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
The first decision to hold Victory Day parades was taken by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin himself after the country lost an estimated 27 million people defending its territory and the Eastern Front.
The tradition has been given extra fanfare by President Vladimir Putin -- an ardent nationalist whose patriotic fervour has helped him win strong backing from the middle class.
The Victory Day parades have expanded during Putin's 13 years in power to include heavy intercontinental missiles and Tu-95 bombers that can easily reach the shores of the United States.
The tradition has been accompanied by a return of pro-Soviet rhetoric and a defence of Moscow's decisive role in the war that Putin alluded to on Thursday.
"We will always remember that it was specifically Russia, the Soviet Union, that undermined the abhorrent, bloody, supercilious plans of the Nazis and kept them from controlling the world," Putin said at the nationally televised ceremony.
"Our soldiers saved freedom and independence by defending their motherland without sparing themselves, liberating Europe and claiming a victory whose grandeur will live on for centuries."
The 68th anniversary of what Russia still calls The Great Patriotic War included 11,000 soldiers marching in lockstep to a military band as huge banners reading "May 9" decorated the Kremlin's walls.
About 2,000 veterans proudly wearing chests-full of medals were received by Putin for a special banquet reception in the Kremlin after watching the procession from the stands.
Putin downed the customary 100 grams of vodka with the veterans that soldiers received daily during the war.
The Russian leader -- his macho image boosted by periodic televised spins in fighter jets and new tanks -- has unfurled a 23-trillion-ruble ($740 billion) military spending plan over the coming decade that will see the deployment of 400 new ballistic missiles and 600 warplanes.
"We must modernise our defence industry as comprehensively as it was done in the 1930s," Putin said last year in reference to the worst years of Stalin's deadly political purges.
The freedom not to condemn Stalin's atrocities under Putin has given new strains to the cult of personality that dictated Soviet life.
A group of Communist supporters on Wednesday even unveiled a bust of the wartime leader in the Far Eastern city of Yakutsk.
Putin's military plan has put pressure on other sectors of Putin's budget and on outdated Soviet-era military factories that are unable to cope with the sudden surge in demand for a new generation of weaponry.
Putin has expressed repeated frustration at the military churning out products such as tanks and weapons systems that cost more than their Western rivals while often failing in reliability tests.
The Kremlin chief said Thursday that the extra military spending was needed to secure Russia's role as a guarantor of peace across the world.
"We will do all we can to strengthen security on the planet," he said.
Rate this Article
Rates : 1, Average : 5
Post a Comment
Did you like this section? Leave a comment!
Your Name :
Your Email Address :
Your Comment :
Enter Image Text:
No Comments Posted
Latest in this section
Nepal earthquake: Terrified survivors recount nightmare of devastation
Nepal earthquake: Residents camp in open, fend for themselves in Kathmandu Valley
New UN envoy to Yemen looks to revive peace talks as fighting rages
Bahrain extends rights activist's detention
Presidential elections: Two protesters shot dead in Burundi clashes
TOP RATED ARTICLES
Cyprus keen to boost bilateral trade, woos Omani investors
Sharif orders probe into killing of Pakistan rights activist Sabeen
Steep rise in traffic violations in Oman last year
Said al Hashmi
Fire in Oman's industrial area Ghala creates panic
Double delight for Indian school Wadi Kabir students as they lift Times of Oman Quiz trophy
Times News Service
More in News
American travel, reportage photographer goes off his track in Oman
Whale sharks set for tagging to save species
Lewis Smith/The Independent
Sri Lanka restores blood-soaked railway to Tamil heartland
Bucharest 'khans' reborn after decades of neglect
More than just a moustache - Adolf Hitler vs Charlie Chaplin
More in Features
Why Europe needs to bail out Greece
Dear Kenya, you need to be strong
Instability defines Middle East today
If only crockery could win an election
A heartfelt welcome to our father and leader
More in Columns
Muscat Media Group.
Times of Oman is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
For reprint rights contact:
TOO Online Editorial