Russia on May 9 commemorated the 74th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in World War II with a military parade on Moscow's Red Square.
President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and Kazakhstan’s former president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, attended the parade.
Putin opened the parade by claiming in a speech that "the main liberator of Europe" from Nazi Germany was the Soviet Union and calling the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, "an ancient Russian capital."
"The victory was earned by the bravery of those who participated in defending ancient Russian capitals - Kyiv and the Great Novgorod, by the courage of the defenders of Smolensk, Odesa [a Ukrainian Black Sea port city], Sevastopol [a city in Ukraine’s Crimea annexed by Moscow in 2014], and the unlimited stamina of the residents of the blockaded Leningrad," Putin said.
Putin on May 9 also laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin.
Annual Victory Day military parades in Moscow have been seen by the Kremlin's critics as a show of strength by Putin.
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