Russia has marked victory over Nazi Germany 65 years ago with a military parade in central Moscow.
President Dmitry Medvedev looked on at what has been described as Russia’s biggest display of military muscle since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
He was joined by several heads of state and government including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
NATO troops attended the parade for the first time. Some 10,000 Russian officers were joined by American soldiers as well as an infantry from the British army’s Welsh Guards.
But allowing alliance forces to march alongside Russian troops has angered the opposition Communist Party, which organised a nearby demonstration.
“We shouldn’t be holding this parade. Foreigners should be attending as honourable guests but they should not be marching all over Red Square. They played no part in our victory.”
Some of the demonstrators even sang songs in honour of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
This young Muscovite said the parade hadevoked feelings of national pride and happiness.
“I am full of admiration and excitement and am very happy we won that terrible war of the 20th century.”
Generations, young and old, turned out for the celebrations including a number of Russia’s last’surviving war veterans.