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Red Square parade makes Russian Victory Day a fiesta

By Liu Hongxia (Xinhua)

08:20, May 10, 2013

MOSCOW, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Russia honored Thursday, the 68th anniversary of Nazis' capitulation, with the yearly Victory Day parade on Red Square.

Tens of thousands of spectators from home and abroad, knowing it was impossible to get onto the site without invitations, flooded along the Moscow river, where a glimpse of the showcase could be caught.

Minutes after the Kremlin bell tolled at 10:00 a.m. Moscow time (0600 GMT), a sudden artillery salvo from the other side of the river bank, followed by several more, shocked the crowd and left children on their fathers' shoulders screaming and crying.

As the first regiment, cadets of military schools, marched past, the crowds burst into applause and cheers while souvenir vendors twisted their way in between.

Professional photographers carrying ladders and lenses struggled for decent shooting angles, some climbing onto nearby roofs.

Vehicles were barred some 200 meters from the river bank but cyclists could squeeze through.

"I rode no more than one hour to get here, just to see the parade," a young male cyclist called Alexei told Xinhua, adding it was the first time he had come to watch the parade.

Dmitry, 29, said he was rather proud of his country while watching a live video report via a portable tablet computer. His six-year-old son, Max, perched on his shoulders, kept screaming in astonishment as regiments of ground forces rolled by.

The crowds rejoiced at the climax when 68 aircraft, including Mi-28 attack helicopters Mi-28, and Su-27 and Tu-160 strategic bombers, rocked the Moscow sky.

Young people wearing USSR T-shirts and army caps, friends or not, exchanged greetings while sweethearts whispered and kissed. A considerable sum of veterans with rows of medals saluted the aerobatic teams.

Ulynov, a Kyrgyzstan employee in Moscow, said he had been working here for two years. "This (parade) is much more enjoyable compared with that of last year, as the weather today is comfortable and we see more hi-tech weapons," he said, along with several fellows.

People, waving flags and chanting, started to withdraw from the site at around 11:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT), an hour after the parade kicked off.

Some babies in warm strollers have fallen asleep as their parents walked them back to the cars.

Members of military band, who left the square through a bridge over the river, waved to the crowds, some even playing a little impromptu music.

The crowds responded with salutes and singing.

Konstantin, a tall man with thick beard, told Xinhua "it took several months to prepare the parade, and it took thousands of enthusiastic people to make the parade a fiesta."

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