U.S. President George Bush and leaders of dozens of other nations, including Germany and Japan, joined Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow for 60th anniversary observance of defeat of Nazi Germany.
Russian fighter jets streaked overhead, and world leaders watched as President Putin paid tribute to the 27 million Soviets who lost their lives in defense of their nation.
The ceremony began with goose-stepping soldiers dressed in ceremonial uniforms, carrying a red flag with a hammer and sickle. War veterans from around the world gathered near Lenin's tomb for the parade.
Mr. Putin emphasized the Soviet Union's massive sacrifice, but also thanked its allies for their role in defeating Nazi Germany.
He also gave U.S. President George Bush the most prominent seat next to him on the reviewing stand. Neither leader made mention of Mr. Bush's recent questioning of Mr. Putin's commitment to democracy.
However, Mr. Bush has chosen to visit the former Soviet Republic of Georgia for his final stop in his five-day European trip. Russia and Georgia have had tense relations, as Georgia has moved toward democracy. Georgians were making final preparations for Mr. Bush's visit in the streets of Tbilisi Monday.
One resident expressed her enthusiasm, "After the Rose revolution, it's a huge event for Georgia and it will have a huge impact on Georgia's future."
Mr. Bush is scheduled to address the nation in Tbilisi's Freedom Square.