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Moscow: fireworks round off World War II commemorations

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Moscow: fireworks round off World War II commemorations


Fireworks have rounded off events in Moscow, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The conflict is known as the Great Patriot War in Russia.

Earlier, the country staged what was claimed to be the world’s largest ever military parade.

On show was the Armata T-14, Russia’s first new tank for 40 years. Soldiers, some in World War II uniforms, filed past under blue skies and bright sunshine.

War veterans watched from the grandstand, chests bristling with medals, while crowds filled side streets around the Kremlin – cheering as fighter jets roared overhead.

“This great victory will forever remain an heroic height of our country’s history,” said President Vladimir Putin, as he addressed those gathered.

“But we remember our allies of the anti-Hitler coalition. We are grateful to the people of Great Britain, France and the US for their contribution to victory.”

China’s president Xi Jinping was the most prominent world leader in attendance.

There was a near-complete absence of European leaders, underlining tension between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel skipped the parade, as did US President Barack Obama and French and British leaders, but was to attend a wreath-laying ceremony in Moscow on Sunday.

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