President Putin has used the solemn occasion commemorating the end of World War II to assert Russia’s position on the world stage.
In front of troops and war veterans, he said the country had a moral right to stand up for itself because of how it had suffered from Nazism.
The Soviet Union suffered the biggest human losses of the war. Almost 27 million people including nearly nine million soldiers are said to have been killed.
This week has seen Vladimir Putin sworn in for a controversial third term as president, in a job swap with Dmitry Medvedev who returns to his old job as prime minister.
Wednesday’s annual Victory Parade marked the 67th anniversary of the day the Nazi surrender came into effect in Moscow, a day after Western allies commemorated Victory in Europe Day.
Rain was kept away from the skies above Moscow using special cloud-clearing chemicals.
On the ground, several hundred anti-Putin protesters including prominent opposition leaders have been swept up and detained over the past few days.