News / Europe

    Russia's Military Might for More Than Show

    Russian tanks move along Red Square during a Victory Day parade, Moscow, May 9, 2013.
    Russian tanks move along Red Square during a Victory Day parade, Moscow, May 9, 2013.
    James Brooke
    Russian soldiers, tanks and rockets paraded across the cobblestones of Red Square on Thursday in the Kremlin’s annual display of the nation’s military might.
     
    The parade was first held 68 years ago to celebrate the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany. Today it is a carefully choreographed event to remind Russians -- and the world -- that the country remains a major military power.
     
    President Vladimir Putin reviewed the troops and addressed the nation, declaring: “We will do everything to strengthen security on the planet.”
     
    Russia’s economy may now rank 10th largest in the world, but it still aspires to be a military superpower.
     
    To showcase Russia’s military might, authorities spent millions of dollars to disperse rain clouds in the skies and repair asphalt ground up by tank treads on the ground. Lavish television coverage included placing TV cameras in the cockpit of a fighter jet, by the wheels of a battle tank, and atop the Kremlin’s 15th century clock tower.
     
    Missile sale
     
    Foreign military attaches watched from a VIP reviewing section as nuclear-capable rockets and S-300 mobile missile batteries rolled by.
     
    The anti-aircraft missiles were a reminder of news reports earlier Wednesday that Russia is preparing to sell S-300 missile batteries to Syria’s embattled government.
     
    This advanced system would limit the ability of the United States and other nations to operate over Syrian airspace or impose a no-fly zone. On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry left Moscow after winning President Putin’s support for a conference to mediate a political solution to Syria’s civil war.
     
    For four decades, Moscow has been an ally of and arms supplier to the Assad clan that has run Syria since 1971.
     
    On Friday, British Prime Minister David Cameron is to meet President Putin for talks in Sochi, after which he is to fly to Washington for a Monday meeting with President Obama.
     
    Regional power
     
    On Red Square, the columns of tanks and rows of marching soldiers were a reminder of Russia’s determination to be a regional power.
     
    On Wednesday, President Putin met with Russia’s Security Council and instructed the military to draw up plans to defend Central Asia and southern Russia in the event of a collapse in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of American troops next year.
     
    "We will bear it in mind that the Afghan army and law enforcement bodies are so far unable to guarantee security in Afghanistan,” Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev told reporters on Wednesday.
     
    It was a reminder that Russia’s massive military is maintained for greater goals than marching smartly in parades.

    You May Like

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: motun
    June 03, 2013 8:03 PM
    Still aspires to be a military superpower? why dont you let them drop one of their several thousand nukes on you. if thats not superpower enough for you i dont know what is.

    by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
    May 10, 2013 7:55 AM
    To: Igor from: Russia

    In vain you try to insult me as we, you and me, are from different RUSSIAs.

    1) I’m from the Russia of overwhelming majority people who for 13 years are held hostage by the FSB regime that indefinitely suspended all basic human rights, stole elections and billions $ of national wealth, that destroyed industrial and technological might of once great nation, that passively watches dying-out of Russian nation.

    2) You’re from the Russia of tiny minority of billionaires with unknown origin of their wealth, FSB functionaries and those who are serving them.

    You see, we are from alien and different social backgrounds and we’ll certainly meet each other through barrel sight of our guns by being on different sides of barricades in imminent civil war.

    You should be completely blind and not to know a thing about the Russia that stretches beyond Moscow’s Circle Road when you have started to defend the “parade” as a laughable show of “military might” and one more Potemkin’s village of the FSB design. The same as Skolkovo Silicon-Valley.
    In Response

    by: JohnSmith
    May 10, 2013 8:43 AM
    Get over your chronic winery already and get to work. Do not how to work - buy a book, ask you friend, do not have a friend - find one.

    You have been held hostage in your own mind. The person who has been holding you hostage is yourself. I'm fed up of seeing loosers like you.

    by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
    May 09, 2013 9:32 PM
    I completely agree with the post of V. Z. 6 from: Russia. The “parade” is a laughable show of military might that doesn’t exist and is one more Potemkin’s village of the FSB design.
    For 13 years methodically the regime has been destroying military-industrial complex of former USSR.
    Just keep in mind that the regime for years is unable to liquidate the Islamist insurgency in the Northern Caucasus – right round the corner of absurd forthcoming winter Olympics Game in the subtropics’ zone!
    In Response

    by: Igor from: Russia
    May 10, 2013 1:42 AM
    Gennady, it is the Victory Day of our nation to commemorate those sacrified themselves to save our country and the world from the old western invader - the Nazi and to remind our enemies that Russia is strong enough to defeat any invader in the future. To blacken the parade you have offended your own grandparents and your own people. Are you a real russian, Gennady? Or you are only a betrayer?

    by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
    May 09, 2013 8:49 PM
    The cold war is not over. The proxy war between the US and Russia in Syria is shaping up. The longer the wait for the show down in Syria, the greater will be the death and destruction.



    by: V. Z. 6 from: Russia
    May 09, 2013 3:25 PM
    this is such a farce... it masks corruptin and decay of unimaginable dimensions... i have been in the Russian Military or 16 years... believe me when i say it is rotten to the core. the truth is that Russia is terrified of Islamic insurrection within Russia. the truth is that Russia will not be able to suppress an Islamic revolt in Russia.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.