Thousands of troops in Second World War uniforms have marched across Moscow’s Red Square in a re-enactment of a historic wartime parade.
On November 7 1941, Red Army soldiers marched directly to the front line during the Battle of Moscow to repel the invading Nazi forces closing in on the Soviet capital.
Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the 1941 parade was “a symbol of courage and faith”, paving way for “the first difficult step toward victory over the Nazis”.
In some sectors at the front, Nazi troops came as close as 20 miles to the Russian capital.
But the Nazi offensive lost its momentum in mid-October as it faced adverse weather and logistics challenges, allowing the Soviet command to bring in reinforcements and strengthen the city’s defences.
As the fate of Moscow was still hanging in the balance, Soviet leader Josef Stalin ordered the November 7 parade to boost the troops’ morale.
The Battle of Moscow marked the first time since the start of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union when the Red Army managed to stop the advancing Nazi forces and drive them back.
It was the first major Nazi defeat since the start of the Second World War.
Wednesday’s re-enactment featured about 5,000 troops in period uniforms, vintage T-34 tanks and other WWII weapons.
The holiday was abolished in 2005, but many older Russians still celebrate it.