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Russian veterans, nation mark WWII Victory Day

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Commemorative events will be held all across Russia Tuesday to mark the end of World War II.

MOSCOW, May 9 (RIA Novosti) - Commemorative events will be held all across Russia Tuesday to mark the end of World War II.

As in previous years, a military parade on Moscow's Red Square will be the central event of this year's Victory Day celebrations, although it may seem somewhat low-key in comparison with the 2005 extravaganza, attended by several dozen foreign dignitaries.

War veterans will have traditional reunions in downtown Moscow as well as in parks on the city's outskirts, but the shrinking number of survivors will be all the more conspicuous this time around.

Victory Day is a public holiday in Russia, and it has not lost its significance to many older Russians whose WWII memories are still fresh. The nation's triumph in that war came at a cost, with some 27 million lives lost.

Russia celebrates the Allied victory in Europe a day later than its allies do, because, although the German army surrendered on May 8, it was not until May 9 that the final surrender ceremony took place in Berlin.

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