Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the country has been sanctioned by much of the international community. Moreover, Ukraine has received more and more military aid from NATO and other western nations to fight against Russia. The current conflict makes the 2010 Moscow Victory Parade a strange memory since Russian troops were joined by the militaries of Ukraine, Poland, the United States, the United Kingdom and other nations now at odds with Russia.
Late in the evening on May 8, 1945, the German Instrument of Surrender was signed. It marked the capitulation of Nazi Germany and victory for the Allies in Europe. In the Soviet Union, the occasion was celebrated on May 9 as Victory Day. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia continued to observe the holiday. Celebrating the 65th anniversary of the German surrender, the 2010 Victory Day Parade was the largest parade in Moscow since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.
On May 9, 2010, over 10,000 troops marched through Red Square. 160 military vehicles and 127 military aircraft were also featured. Included in the Victory Day Parade for the first time were foreign and Commonwealth of Independent States militaries. This included Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine. The Turkmen contingent was led by an officer on horseback; the horse was reportedly a descendant of the horse loaned by Joseph Stalin to Marshal Georgy Zhukov to ride in the 1945 Victory Day Parade.
Troops from France, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States also marched in the 2010 Victory Day Parade. During his speech, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev noted that the inclusion of foreign militaries celebrated their "common victory" in WWII. However, the inclusion of NATO troops was opposed by some Russians. Thousands of protestors gathered at a May Day rally held by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in Moscow.
In addition to military forces, the 2010 Victory Day Parade was attended by foreign dignitaries. Acting Polish President Bronisław Komorowski accompanied his nation's armed forces to Moscow for the event. Czech President Václav Klaus, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli President Shimon Peres were also in attendance. The United Kingdom and United States were represented by their ambassadors to Russia.
Feature Image: U.S. Navy