President Medvedev says 'our duty is to safeguard peace'
11:46 09/05/2011 MOSCOW, May 9 (RIA Novosti) - Our duty is to safeguard peace achieved by the victory in the 1941-45 war against Nazi Germany, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said at a military parade in Moscow on Monday.
The military parade dedicated to the 66th anniversary of the Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War was launched on Moscow's Red Square at 10:00 a.m. Moscow time (06:00 GMT) and continued for about an hour.
"The duty of our generation is to safeguard peace achieved by the Victory," Medvedev said, adding that the modernization and development of the Armed Forces remains a key priority for the Russian leadership.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov also attended the parade.
The parade involved a march pass of about 20,000 servicemen and cadets. The troops wore new-style field uniforms, introduced in the Russian Armed Forces this year.
Two hundred elite officers from Russia's Space Forces marched on Red Square for the first time in history of the Victory Day parades.
The event also involves a march pass of over 100 pieces of military hardware, including Topol-M ballistic missile launchers, S-400 Triumph air defense systems, Pantsyr-S1 air defense systems, Iskander-M missile launchers, Smerch multiple rocket launchers, BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, and T-90 main battle tanks.
The parade culminated with a flyover by a group of five Mi-8 multirole helicopters carrying Russian state and military flags.
The first Victory Parade was held on Red Square on June 24, 1945 on the order of the then-Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Joseph Stalin.
According to latest studies, the total causalities of the Soviet Union, both soldiers and civilians, were 26.6 million people, of those an estimated 8,668,400 soldiers died.
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