Gearing up for Saturday’s Victory Day Parade Cuban President Raul Castro met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday.
He will be one of only a few foreign dignitaries to attend the celebrations to mark 70 years since the WWII victory over the Nazis in 1945.
The visit comes as Cuba and US thaw long frosty relations and Russia is seeking allies in Latin America.
About 900km southeast of Moscow the German Foreign Minister visited the Battle of Stalingrad memorial. It was the site of one of the bloodiest battles in WWII and Soviet history. More than one million people are believed to have died in the fighting which marked a turning point in the conflict.
Back in the Russian capital, rehearsals were underway for the elaborate commemorations on Saturday – 16,000 troops will be marching in the Red Square parade, along with hundreds of units of military machines.
It will be a defiant show of military might to the world amid western condemnation of the Kremlin’s actions in Ukraine.
The real star of the show will be the cutting-edge Armata T-14 tanks, though they’re not yet to go into service until next year, Moscow is already boasting that they will be the most powerful in the world.