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'Doomsday': Putin hopes to deter the West with nuclear-themed WWII parade
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As Russian soldiers, tanks, and military vehicles carrying ballistic missiles participate in a military parade next week, Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes the display sends a "doomsday" warning to Europe and the United States, according to a report.
The World War II parade, which Russia celebrates on May 9 each year, marks the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in Europe, when allied powers defeated Nazi Germany, and is taking place when countries around the world seek to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The military display will also feature supersonic jets, Tu-160 bombers, and the Ilyushin Il-80 — known as Russia’s "doomsday" plane which carries the administration’s senior leadership in the case of a nuclear war, Reuters reported.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen aboard a ship during the military parade marking the Russia's Navy Day, on July,25,2021, in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)
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The "Flying Kremlin" aircraft, as it is also known, distinctly has no windows except for those in the very front of the plane and has been seen in Moscow in recent days, participating in low-altitude rehearsal flights for the Victory Day parade, Daily Mail reported.
This year will be the first time Russia includes the Soviet-era plane in the annual military demonstration since 2010, according to the report.
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Russian servicemen march along Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2021. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP) (Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images) Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images
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The theme of nuclear readiness and international deterrence will also be shown in Russia’s use of missile carriers Tu-95MS and Tu-160 "White Swan," as well as Su-57 fighter and Tu-22M3 long-range bombers, Daily Mail reported.
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A Russian T-90M tank (front) and other military vehicles drive along the Garden Ring road towards the Red Square for a rehearsal of the Victory Day military parade, in central Moscow on May 4, 2022. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images) Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images
Russia’s military occupation of Ukraine will also be referenced in the parade as eight MiG-29SMTs intend to fly in the form of the letter "Z," which has become a symbol of Russia’s military, according to the report.
The military parade, which will still include tens of thousands of people and hundreds of aircraft across 28 Russian cities, has been considerably scaled-down as Russian forces have warred in Ukraine for over 70 days, resulting in heavy losses for Russia and incalculable damage to the country.
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