Only one tank on display as Putin tells Victory Day parade Russia going through ‘difficult period’

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Russia only had one tank on display during its Victory Day parade this year.

Every year, Moscow wraps itself in patriotic pageantry for Victory Day, a celebration of its victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

Today marks the 79th anniversary and Mr Putin addressed the parade in the Red Square, trying to talk up his country’s military capabilities in a speech aimed as much at the foreign audience as a domestic one.

Vladimir Putin used his Victory Day speech this year to try and warn that Russia’s combat forces were “always ready” but admitted the country was going through a “difficult period”.

In the parade in Moscow, only one tank was present throughout the entire display – as the country continues to dedicate considerable firepower and resources to its war in Ukraine.

Solitary tank
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The lone tank spotted at this year’s Victory Day parade

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The Second World War T34 tank was the only one present – as it was last year too.

Other armoured vehicles were pictured as thousands of servicemen marched along the parade.

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During this year’s speech, Mr Putin admitted that Russia was going through a “difficult period” as the “future of the motherland depends on us”.

“Today on Victory Day we are conscious of that even more acutely,” he said before warning: “Our strategic forces are always combat ready.”

Vladimir Putin speaking during Victory Day Parade
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Vladimir Putin speaking during the Victory Day Parade

Pic: Reuters
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Pic: Reuters

Pic: Reuters
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Pic: Reuters

The parade marks the 79th anniversary of Russia's victory over Nazi Germany. Pic: Reuters
Image:
The parade marks the 79th anniversary of Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany. Pic: Reuters

The leader of the Kremlin also said Russia’s nuclear forces were always at combat readiness, as he addressed massed ranks of Russian servicemen.

Mr Putin said on Thursday that Russia would do everything it could to avoid global confrontation, but it would not allow anyone to threaten it.

He also used the speech to send a message to the Russian troops fighting in Ukraine, trying to bolster their morale as the war continues to drag on.

Pic: Reuters
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Pic: Reuters

Veterans take part in the Victory Day celebrations. Pic: Reuters
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Veterans take part in the Victory Day celebrations. Pic: Reuters

Russian service members march in columns just before the parade. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Russian service members march in columns just before the parade. Pic: Reuters


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He finished on: “For Russia! For victory! Hurrah!” Prompting thousands of soldiers to cheer in return.

Since coming to power on the last day of 1999, Mr Putin has made 9 May an important part of his political agenda, featuring displays of military might.

Pic: Reuters
Russian military vehicles, including Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system units, drive along a road before a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 79th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2024. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
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Alongside the solitary tank, other military vehicles took part in the parade. Pic: Reuters

Columns of military vehicles and missiles roll across Red Square every year and squadrons of fighter jets roar overhead as medal-bedecked veterans join him to review the parade.

Many wear the black-and-orange St George’s ribbon that is traditionally associated with Victory Day.

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