Moscow fine-tunes Victory Day parade in midst of Ukraine invasion

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By Mark Armstrong  with AFP
Russian tanks prepare for Victory Day parade in Moscow
Russian tanks prepare for Victory Day parade in Moscow   -   Copyright  AFP Photo

In the midst of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been putting the final touches to rehearsals for its Victory Day parade in Moscow.

The annual show of strength marks the Soviet defeat of the Nazis in World War II, referred to Russia as the Great Patriotic War.

Thousands of soldiers usually march across Red Square in the capital, followed by tanks, armoured vehicles and missile launchers.

Despite predictions of a swift victory, Monday's parade will take place during the third month of what the Kremlin calls Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine.

Observers have been surprised and impressed at the level of resistance of Ukrainian forces and some experts are saying Russia has faced some severe losses as the war drags on.

Vladimir Putin is expected to deliver a speech at Monday's event.

Some Western officials say he may declare all-out war on Ukraine or announce mobilisation across the country.

The Kremlin has dismissed this as "nonsense".