Vladimir Putin speaks during a flower laying ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 090520 CREDIT PA.jpg
Russia

Putin Marks Russia's Victory Day Anniversary With Virus-Reduced Ceremony

A military parade and a mass procession had to be postponed as part of measures to control the spread of coronavirus.

Vladimir Putin speaks during a flower laying ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 090520 CREDIT PA.jpg

The Russian President has marked the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War in a ceremony shorn of its usual military parade and pomp by the coronavirus pandemic.

Vladimir Putin laid flowers at the tomb of the unknown soldier outside the Kremlin walls in Moscow.

He also gave a short address honouring the valour and suffering of the Soviet army during the war.

Victory Day is Russia’s most important secular holiday.

This year’s observance had been expected to be especially large because it is the 75th anniversary, but the Red Square military parade and a mass procession called the Immortal Regiment were postponed as part of measures to stifle the spread of the virus.

The only vestige of the conventional show of military might was a flyover of central Moscow by 75 warplanes and helicopters.

In the final events of the VE Day commemoration in western Europe, which took place a day earlier, Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate was illuminated late on Friday.

The words "Thank You" against a blue backdrop were projected on to the monument in Russian, English, French and German.

Earlier in the day, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier described 8 May as the day Germany was also "liberated" from Nazi dictatorship.

Cover image: Vladimir Putin at the flower laying ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over Germany during the Second World War (Picture: PA).