2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade

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Emblem of the 70th anniversary Victory Day Parade
2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade
Soldiers at the 70th anniversary Victory Day Parade

The 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade was a parade that took place in Red Square in Moscow on 9 May 2015 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the capitulation of Nazi Germany in 1945, the annual parade marks the Allied victory in the Second World War at the Eastern Front, on the same day as the signing of the German act of capitulation to the Allies in Berlin, at midnight of 9 May 1945 (Russian time). President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin delivered his twelfth holiday address to the nation on this day, right after the parade inspection that was presided by Minister of Defense General of the Army Sergey Shoygu.

Being a landmark jubilee parade honoring the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in the European continent, the 2015 parade was the largest and most lavish held in Russian history. Col. Gen. Oleg Salyukov, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces, was the 2015 commander. In addition to troops of the Russian Federation, 1,300 troops from 10 foreign countries were also on parade, including contingents from China, India, Serbia, and Mongolia, all four countries making their first appearance at a Russian Victory Day parade.

Following the official parade, over 500,000 Russians and foreign attendees marched through central Moscow in commemoration of those who perished and those who survived World War II, the Moscow leg of this parade, which is an annual Victory Day tradition called the March of the Immortal Regiment and observed in numerous other Russian cities and in several other countries, was led by President Putin whose father served during the war. It is estimated that up to 12 million Russians participated nationwide in the 2015 March of the Immortal Regiment.

Important dignitaries in attendance and parade information[edit]

Participants of the Victory Day parade 9 May 2015 versus 9 May 2010

Amongst those in attendance were President of China, Xi Jinping;[1] President of India, Pranab Mukherjee;[2] President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma;[3] President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev;[4] President of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev;[5] President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon;[6] President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan;[7] President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev;[8] President of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolić;[9] President of Mongolia, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj;[10] President of Vietnam, Trương Tấn Sang;[11] President of Cuba, Raúl Castro;[12] President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro;[13] President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi;[14] and the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.[15] In all, around 30 international leaders attended the parade, including heads of UNESCO and the Council of Europe, with invitations having been sent to 68 heads of state,[16] the UK was represented by the grandson of World War II leader British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Nicholas Soames. A number of EU countries including the Czech Republic, Hungary and Greece came under US and/or EU pressure not to attend the Victory Day Parade due to the 2014 annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and the subsequent War in Donbass, resulting in Czech President Miloš Zeman subsequently banning the US ambassador from functions at Prague Castle. A number of World War II veterans from the US and UK were present at the victory day celebrations as private attendees.

The following countries opted not to participate in this year's parade in Moscow, although most sent their respective ambassadors as part of the diplomatic corps: Australia, Belarus (which held its own victory day celebrations on the same day),[17] Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany, Georgia, Israel, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, United States, Finland, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Sweden, Estonia, Japan.

The 2014 annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and the subsequent War in Donbass has caused a number of nations that fought in the war, especially those that participated in the parade of 2010, to not participate in the 2015 celebrations, including Germany, whose chancellor Angela Merkel instead visited Moscow on 10 May to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and meet with Vladimir Putin.[18] Three days after the Victory Day parade, US secretary of state John Kerry laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Sochi with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.

Aside from the return of the T-34 tank and the SU-100 self-propelled gun, and the usual vehicles and planes in the mobile column and the flypast, making their parade debut this year were the following:

The Nakhimov Higher Naval Institute and the Chemical Defense and Control Military Academy both made their return appearances in a Red Square parade after years of absences, the former since 1985 and the latter since 2006, while the Pacific Naval Institute will be making its debut appearance this year, all in the march past segment made up of 16,000 servicemen, where they will be joined by a company sized formation from the Ground Forces Military Institute from the Kazakh Ground Forces, part of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and several military contingents from other Commonwealth of Independent States member countries, including the Armenian Army and the Azerbaijani Land Forces, all returning to the parade after a 5-year break, alongside first time parade participants from the armed forces of Serbia,[24] China,[25] Mongolia, and India,[26] the BMD-4 infantry fighting vehicle will make its return to the mobile column after a 6-year break, together with the joint flight of the Russian aerobatics teams Russian Knights and Strizhi after a one-year absence from the parade.

Also, several military vehicles that drove through the Red Square in the 1945 Victory Parade are being readied for their drivepast in other major Russian cities.

As per tradition, 26 other Russian major cities (Sevastopol and Kerch in the disputed Crimea included) held their parades, and joint civil-military parades were hosted by 50 other towns and cities nationwide, plus 5 fleet reviews in Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad (Baltic Fleet), Sevastopol (Black Sea), Severnomorsk (Northern) and Vladivostok (Pacific). Some of the big parades featured an air fly past for the first time.

Victory Day parades and celebrations were also held in the following CIS member nations:

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic of Novorossiya, in the midst of the fighting in the Donbass, held on 9 May in Donetsk the first public Victory Day parade of the so-called "United Armed Forces of Novorossiya" (military branch of the separatist organisation) together with the federal level Ministries of Internal Affairs and Emergency Situations. The situation was the same in the other non-recognised entity within Ukraine, Luhansk People's Republic, where on 9 May Luhansk's first ever Victory Day parade was held, with participation of the United Armed Forces of Novorossiya and the federal MVD and EMERCOM units of the entity.

The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic celebrated the day with a parade and other activities in Stepanakert on 9 May, also celebrating the 23rd anniversary of the Capture of Shusha during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.

Preparation[edit]

T-14 Armata Tank in the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade
T-15 and Kurganets-25 during a rehearsal for the parade with covered turrets

Beginning in November/December 2014, preparations for the parade were well attended at the unit level. Individual unit practices were held in the various military installations for all the participating units, and by March 2015, the air flypast column began its individual practice flying runs.[27] Also rehearsing for the parade are the massed military bands of the Armed Forces, the MVD, EMERCOM and the Moscow Garrison, all to be conducted for the 13th straight year by Lieutenant General Valery Khalilov, the Senior Director of Music of the Bands Service of the Russian Armed Forces since 2002, with a combined number of more than a thousand military bandsmen, and the world-famous Corps of Drums of the Moscow Military Music College "Field Marshal Alexander Suvorov", under the leadership of Colonel Alexander Gerasimov, the long-time college director, which has always (with a brief break from 2009 to 2011) had the privilege of leading the parade.

The parade practice runs officially commenced in the practice field at Alabino, Moscow Oblast, in April 2015, and will last until the middle of April when the runs on Red Square itself will start, ending with a final general combined practice run of the parade in early May, before the first parade dry run, there was the first practice drivepast of the estimated 200 mobile column vehicles in attendance this year, that first drivepast was held on 27 March.[28]

The first parade practice run on 3 April 2015[29] kicked off officially the preparation for the big parade, despite the snowy weather that day. Joining the first run-through rehearsal (for the march past segment and the mobile column only) was the first ever military women's contingent to march on Red Square for the very first time, composed of girl Cadet Corps students coming from the Moscow National Pensions School, this was followed by the first test run of the flypast column[30] in the Alabino training grounds on 9 April, with the more than 150 aircraft taking part in that first run-through of the flypast segment.

The 15 2 April parade practice run witnessed the first practice march of a Cossacks contingent that on 9 May will be the first ever unit of its kind to march on the steps of Red Square after so many years,[31] the unit marching for this year comes from the ranks of the Kuban Cossacks, which marched past Red Square in the Victory Parade of 1945 represented by the 4th Guards Cossack Cavalry Regiment. The 2nd dry run for the flypast was done on 21 April, and the final run on the Alabino grounds on 22 April.

The first late night practice run started on 29 April in Moscow's Red Square,[32] and continued on till 4 May with the final two practice runs on 6 and 7 May, which also serve as the general practice runs, the one on 7 May expected to have Col. Gen. Salyukov leading the marchers on Red Square and General of the Army Shoygu inspecting, just as they would be doing in the actual parade in 2 days time (the final rehearsal, just as the actual parade would be, was scheduled to be held at around 10AM Moscow Daylight Time). All of them are open to the general public, with the 7 May final practice run being open also for war veterans, at the same time, final practice runs are being made for those joining the parades on 9 May in 26 other major cities in Russia plus 50 other towns and cities. During such practice drill runs in Moscow several variants of the new Russian armored vehicle platform Armata were seen with turrets covered, together with the Bumerang APC and the Kurgarnets-25 IFV's turrets, which got the same treatment as well till the turret covers were removed for the 3 – 4 May practice runs,[33] during the 7 May general practice run one of the T-14 Armata tanks stopped in the middle of the square because of driver's mistake, right in front of the people in attendance. There was also one incident with a T-15 APC which could drive on the platform only after the second attempt.[34][35]

All the 145 aircraft taking part in the flypast took their practice run on 5 May[36] that drew a great reception from the crowds in Red Square, Manege Square and Tver Street that watched the dry run.

Full order of the 2015 Victory Day Parade[edit]

Rows of personnel from the Russian Navy, Marines, and Ground Forces
Russian Airborne BTR-MD "Rakushka"

Bold indicates first appearance, italic indicates multiple appearances, Bold and italic indicate returning appearance, all indicated unless otherwise noted.

Military Bands[edit]

  • Massed Military Bands of the Armed Forces under the direction of the Senior Director of Music of the Military Bands Service of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant General Valery Khalilov
  • Corps of Drums of the Moscow Military Music School

Infantry Column[edit]

Mobile Column (in order of appearance)[edit]

Air Fly Past Column[edit]

Mi-26 and two Mi-17s fly over the Red Square

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chinese president to visit Moscow for WWII Victory Day—Russia FM, Tass, Russian News Agency, 21 January 2015
  2. ^ "Russia values Indian President's decision to attend Victory Day parade in Moscow - envoy". Sputnik News. May 7, 2015. Archived from the original on 11 May 2015. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Zuma in Moscow to celebrate victory over Nazis". Times Live. May 8, 2015. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to attend Victory Parade in Moscow May 9". TASS, Russian News Agency. April 27, 2015. Retrieved May 9, 2015. 
  5. ^ Jim Heintz (May 9, 2015). "Putin takes swipe at US in Victory Day speech". Washington Post, Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Putin takes swipe at U.S. in Victory Day speech". Rare, Associated Press. May 10, 2015. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Victory Day: Armenian president, defense minister attend Moscow parade". Armenia Now. May 9, 2015. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Azerbaijani president to attend V-Day parade in Moscow". TASS, Russian News Agency. April 21, 2015. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  9. ^ "President to attend Victory Day parade in Moscow". B92. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  10. ^ Lucy Westcott (May 9, 2015). "Russia flexes military might as foreign leaders stay away from V-E parade". Newsweek. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Vietnam President to visit Moscow for Victory Day celebrations". Sputnik News. January 30, 2015. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Castro confirms coming to Victory Day parade in Moscow". Sputnik News. April 20, 2015. Retrieved May 9, 2015. 
  13. ^ Presidente Maduro viajará a Moscú para conmemorar 70º aniversario de la Victoria sobre el nazismo. YouTube. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "Sisi to take part in 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade - Egypt Independent". Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  15. ^ Vladimir Soldatkin (May 9, 2015). "Russia stages WW2 victory parade as Ukraine bristles". Reuters. Retrieved May 9, 2015. 
  16. ^ Twenty six heads of state confirm participation in Victory Day celebrations in Moscow, Tass, Russian News Agency, 17 March 2015
  17. ^ "Belarus President Lukashenko pulls out of Victory Day parade in Moscow". Ukraine Today. 18 April 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  18. ^ "German Chancellor Merkel to Miss WWII Victory Day Parade in Moscow". Sputnik. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  19. ^ "Victory parade in 2015 will surprise the Russians". Russian Information Network. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  20. ^ "СМИ: в Параде Победы в Москве примет участие броневик "Тайфун-У"". РИА Новости. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  21. ^ "bmpd". Archived from the original on 2 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  22. ^ Sputnik (26 February 2015). "Russia's Yars ICBM Systems to Take Part in Victory Day Parade". Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  23. ^ "New Russian Air Force Aerobatic Team (the fifth one) to Debut during the Moscow Victory Day Parade". The Aviationist. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  24. ^ Sputnik (6 April 2015). "Serbian Army to Take Part in Victory Day Parade in Moscow". Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  25. ^ Chinese PLA Honor Guards to Participate in Russia's Victory Day Parade: Defense Ministry. YouTube. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  26. ^ "Indian Army Grenadiers Regiment to take part in 2015 Victory Day Parade in Moscow's Red Square". India Today. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  27. ^ На Параде Победы Су-25 и МиГ-29 нарисуют в небе цифру 70. YouTube. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  28. ^ Парад 9 Мая 2015 БоеваяТехника Репетиция. YouTube. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  29. ^ Russian Army Parade Rehearsal 3.4.2015. YouTube. 3 April 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  30. ^ Авиа репетиция парада ко Дню Победы 2015 РОССИЯ Air rehearsal for the Victory Day parade. YouTube. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  31. ^ Репетиция парада победы 2015 / Russia.Rehearsal for Victory Parade 2015. YouTube. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  32. ^ "Russia's cutting-edge military hardware parades through Moscow for V-Day rehearsal". Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  33. ^ Боевая техника во всей красе ночью на Красной площади. YouTube. 4 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  34. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5B9-2Fb7pk
  35. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G4YELyo3A4
  36. ^ Репетиция воздушной части парада прошла в Москве. YouTube. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 

External links[edit]