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Russia to fly 71 combat planes over Moscow on May 9 to mark Victory Day anniversary

April 11, 17:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The number of aircraft will symbolize the 71st anniversary of the [Soviet Union’s] victory in the Great Patriotic War
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© Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian presidential press service/TASS

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. Over 70 aircraft and helicopters will fly in a parade lineup over Moscow’s Red Square to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, the Russian Defense Ministry’s press office said on Monday.

"During the military parade on May 9, 2016, 71 modern aircraft of Russia’s Aerospace Force will fly over Red Square. This number of aircraft will symbolize the 71st anniversary of the [Soviet Union’s] victory in the Great Patriotic War," the Defense Ministry’s press office said in a statement obtained by TASS.

The first aerial training drill of the Russian aviation’s victory parade lineup took place in Alabino outside Moscow on Monday. A total of 71 aircraft took to the skies one after another. Combat planes of Russia’s tactical, long-range and military-transport aviation, as well as various types of army aviation helicopters flew in a close formation at an altitude of 200-300 meters.

Russian troops start preparing for VE-Day parade in Red Square

Russian service members who will take part in VE-Day parade in Red Square to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II have started their training for the occasion, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Monday.

"Training drills of a combined parade team formed to take part in the 143rd military parade in Red Square in Moscow on May 9, 2016 are in full swing in Alabino outside Moscow on a site, which is a mock-up ideally imitating the country’s main square," the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

A combined parade unit of female service members from the Russian Defense Ministry’s Military University and the Volsky Military Logistics Institute (branch) of the Khrulev Logistical Support Military Academy will march in Red Square this year for the first time, the press office said.

Parade units of the foot column will also comprise officers, sergeants and soldiers of military formations, cadets of Suvorov and Nakhimov military schools, military institutes of the Defense Ministry and other security and law-enforcement agencies.

Overall, more than 10,000 troops are involved in training drills together with over 100 pieces of modern weaponry and military hardware that include Tigr (Tiger) armored vehicles, T-90 main battle tanks, BTR-82A armored personnel carriers, BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, Msta-S self-propelled howitzers, Buk-M2 antiaircraft missile systems, Pantsyr-S1 air defense missile/gun complexes, Yars missile systems and others.

The parade in Red Square will also demonstrate the advanced models of Russian military hardware, such as the Armata tank, the Kurganets IFV and APC and the Koalitsiya self-propelled artillery systems.

The troops’ night rehearsals of the military parade will be held directly in Red Square on April 28 and May 4 and their dress rehearsal will be held on May 7.

Russia’s 143rd military parade will involve more than 10,000 service members and over 100 pieces of military hardware and 71 aircraft. The military parade will be commanded by Commander-in-Chief of Russia’s Ground Forces Colonel-General Oleg Salyukov.

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