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

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Activists for Peace Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified boarder, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang More

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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs