Russian President Vladimir Putin has told the annual Victory Day parade in Red Square that the country will continue to strengthen its armed forces.

The military parade marked the 74th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany.

It included about 13,000 troops and 130 pieces of military equipment, ranging from a T-34 tank – renowned for its effectiveness in the Second World War – to missile launch units.

Mr Putin said in his speech that “we have done and will do everything necessary to ensure the high combat capability of our armed forces”.

He added: “At the same time, Russia is open for cooperation with all who are ready to resist terrorism, neo-Nazism and extremism.”

Dozens of other cities also held parades for Russia’s most significant secular holiday.

In Ukraine, which also observes the holiday, outgoing president Petro Poroshenko hit out at Russia.

“For five years, the descendants of the glorious victors over Nazism have defended with arms the freedom of the Ukrainian people and their civilisation choice from Russian aggression,” Mr Poroshenko said in a statement.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and backs separatist rebels who have been fighting Ukrainian forces in the country’s east for the past five years.


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