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Summary

  1. Russia stages its biggest-ever military parade on Red Square in Moscow
  2. 16,500 troops are taking part, with 194 armoured vehicles and 143 aircraft
  3. Western leaders are avoiding the event in protest at Russia's involvement in Ukraine conflict
  4. Patriotic mood grips Russia on 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany
  5. Foreign troops in parade include Chinese, Indian and Serbian units

Live Reporting

By Laurence Peter, Dhruti Shah, Paul Harrison and Kerry Alexandra

All times stated are UK

Victory Day coverage ends

We're wrapping up our live coverage of the Victory Day parade in Moscow. Thanks for staying with us. You can follow all of the latest updates on the

BBC News website.

John Pocock in St Petersburg, Russia emails: Watching the parade and having attended concerts by children and youths to commemorate the anniversary, you realise just how patriotic Russians are. What their country means to them.

Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Phil, London emails: 7 million Ukrainians died in WW2, 4.5 million civilians and 2.5 million military (mostly fighting with the soviet union). Their sacrifice and memory will not be officially acknowledged at this parade, shameful.

Tu-160 strategic bomber flies over Red Square

Tu-160 supersonic strategic bomber flies over Red Square
AFP

Rebel show of arms in Donetsk

The BBC's Tom Burridge in Donetsk reports:

As the soldiers from the army of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic shouted, and the families watching cheered them on, you could not escape the fact that the tanks and rocket launchers rolling through the main rebel-held city in eastern Ukraine are being used in the current conflict against Ukraine.

This parade was nothing on the scale of Moscow. But the show of military might in Donetsk was poignant and at times triumphant.

Wreath-laying at Tomb of Unknown Soldier

Putin and other leaders laying wreath
AP
From left: Venezuelan President's wife Cilia Flores, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan

A sniper guarding the Kremlin

A sniper on the Kremlin wall
EPA

Russia brings back WW2 symbols

Vitaly Shevchenko at BBC Monitoring explains in

this feature how Russians have embraced WW2 symbols again.

Russian St George's ribbon
Getty Images

Get involved

Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay

People waiting for the parade
@ThomasJLowe1

@ThomasJLowe1

tweets: Moscow #VictoryDay #victory70

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Daniel Charles message
Daniel Charles

Daniel Charles in Tanzania contacted us. He adds: I've experienced similar such events in most developing countries, sorry to say, when the govt lacks democratic governance and must impose itself on its citizens.

TV silent on Buk missile

Vitaly Shevchenko at BBC Monitoring, watching the live Russian TV broadcast, reports:

A Buk surface-to-air missile system - of the kind believed to have downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 - was the only type of military kit displayed at the Red Square parade but not named by the announcer.

Pro-Russian rebels are suspected of having downed Flight MH17 with a Buk missile. All 298 people on board were killed last July. The rebels and Russia deny the allegation, blaming Ukrainian forces for the disaster.

Kiev ceremony 'contrasts with Moscow'

Maxim Eristavi

tweets: Soviet craze in Moscow vs somber procession in Kyiv. Have never seen Ukraine & Russia differ so much.

His pic of the ceremony in the Ukrainian capital:

Kiev ceremony
Maxim Eristavi

New Armata tank appears

Russia has paraded its new T-14 Armata tank - highly automated and described as a new-generation fighting machine, arguably better than many Nato tanks.

Read

our guide to the new Russian weapons systems on display in Moscow.

Armata tank
Reuters

Nuclear-capable missiles in parade

Yars missiles
Reuters
RS-24 Yars intercontinental ballistic missiles on Red Square
Victory Day parade
Eelco Schuller

Eelco Schuller, who tweets at

@Eelcosch is watching the parade from his hotel in Moscow. He says this picture shows nuclear rocket launchers passing by.

Ukraine scorns 'Moscow's propaganda'

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has addressed a ceremony in Kiev. In his speech, reported by BBC Monitoring, he lashed out at Russia's portrayal of WW2 history:

"At least six million Ukrainians who fought as part of the Red Army are the main witnesses before God and history of the outrageous injustice spread by Moscow's propaganda myth that Russia would have been able to win the war without Ukraine.

"It is even more cynical to portray our country as a fascist state. Obviously, this is done with one aim alone: to explain and justify their crime in the eyes of their own, Russian people - the Russian aggression against Ukraine."

Victory Day is also being celebrated in Crimea, annexed by Russia last year, and eastern regions held by pro-Russian rebels.

Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay

Galina

@Bonery_Linus tweets: If other countries have suffered from Nazi so much, they would understand how high price was and celebrate this Day like us

Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay

Francois Heisbourg

tweets: Moving: smiles of WW2 veterans as they hear tunes of their youth at #VictoryDay parade in Moscow. The only heroes on Red Square today

Flowers from a veteran in Donetsk

BBC's Tom Burridge in Donetsk

tweets: A veteran wanted to give me these flowers because: "Britain and USSR fought fascism together"

Tom Burridge, BBC with war veteran in Donetsk
Tom Burridge, BBC

Quick guide to Victory Day - video

BBC News has

this video explaining the background to Russia's Victory Day.

Jets fly in 70 shape over Moscow

Jets display over Moscow
Reuters
MiG-29 and Su-25 military jets form a 70 shape over Moscow

Chinese soldiers march in Red Square

Chinese servicemen march during the Victory Day parade at Red Square
Reuters

Aerobatic display over Red Square

The BBC's Pavel Aksenov in Moscow writes:

The two most famous Russian military aerobatic groups flew in one formation - The Russian Knights and The Swifts.

They flew military fighter jets - the heavy Su-27 and light MiG-29, instead of training jets. They said the combat planes are currently in front-line service.

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Helicopters fly over the Victory Day Parade
@BruceHoult

Bruce Hoult

tweets: First choppers

Infantry fighting vehicles in drive-past

Russian BMD-4M Sadovnitsa infantry fighting vehicles in Moscow
Reuters

Donetsk parade not far from front line

Veterans in Donetsk
Will Vernon, BBC
Veterans in Donetsk: BBC's Will Vernon says this parade is in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine

Rebel tanks in Donetsk parade, eastern Ukraine

Russian tanks in Donetsk parade
Will Vernon, BBC

Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Rada Nikulina in Leeds, UK emails: It is a great parade to commemorate the sacrifice our grandfathers made for us. My grandmother was in Saint Petersburg during the blockade, when people were dying of starvation, when there were bodies in the streets anywhere you look. So HOW DARE someone like Cameron or Obama, who are yet to deserve at least a bit of respect, show such disrespect to our veterans. Without our veterans all Europe would be wiped out.

Tony in Siberia emails: I am watching the parade in Moscow on TV (having already watched the local parade here in Tyumen) and you cannot doubt the unwavering patriotism of the Russian people of ALL ages, a lesson we could learn in Britain.

I think that Britain should have sent a high profile representative to the parade to show we are at least respectful toward our former ally. It just seems petulant and petty not to. We should have been mature enough and clear with Russia that attending would have been about honouring the anniversary and separate from the problems in Ukraine.

Indian Army troops march in Moscow

Indian Army troops march in Moscow
Reuters

Millions died on the Russian front

In Russia the fight against Nazi Germany is called "The Great Patriotic War". The bloody conflict took an estimated 26 million Soviet lives in 1941-1945.

On 22 June 1941 Nazi German troops invaded the Soviet Union, despite a 1939 non-aggression pact.

In the winter of 1942-43 the German advance was blocked at Stalingrad, southern Russia. About two million soldiers and civilians died in the long battle. After that, Soviet forces went on the offensive.

С Днем Победы and its English equivalent #VictoryDay are the two top Twitter trends in Russia right now.

Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay

@VictorPlazas362 tweets: A stunning demonstration of tribute for those that carried the greatest weight in defeating Nazi Germany

The spectacle on Red Square

Red Square parade
Reuters

Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Andrej Sviridov in Shepperton, England emails: The 9 of May is the most important day in our history. The day of freedom and victory! At the moment I am watching it online. The parade is our remembrance to fallen heroes.

Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Bogdan emails: I stay in Moscow, but I won't see the "parade of cynicism"; Putin's parade.

Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay

@sandesh_samant tweets: Yaaay!!! Indian soldiers in #VictoryDay Parade with the Indian flag.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu salutes soldiers

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu salutes soldiers
Reuters

Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Ashish in India emails: Let's not forget the Russians/Soviets were the ones who suffered most heavy losses in the WW2 and they were the major force to stop the Hitler juggernaut. Even the Western world can't take away this fact, and if they are living in an environment of peace & liberty Russians are the ones to whom they should be most thankful to. By boycotting the parade they are showing their narrow political interests and disrespecting the innumerable sacrifices for the cause of enduring freedom.

Banners from storming of Berlin

The BBC's Pavel Aksenov in Moscow writes:

Among the banners at the start were standards of the Soviet fronts and two of them - 1st Ukrainian and 1st Belorussian - were the ones at the storming of Berlin.

The commanders of those groups of armies were Ivan Konev and Georgy Zhukov. There was allegedly a kind of competition between the two marshals - both were keen to take Berlin first. This wasn't proved, but it was Zhukov's soldiers who reached the centre of the German capital first.