Over 102,000 military servicemen across Russia will take part in festivities dedicated to the 65th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany, the Russian defense minister said on Wednesday.
"In all, more than 102,000 military servicemen will take part in the festivities. Over 10,500 servicemen will take part in the Moscow parade," Anatoly Serdyukov said in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily.
The minister added that a 1,200-member military orchestra, which also includes representatives of law enforcement bodies, will give a concert during the parade.
On May 9, 165 combat aircraft will fly over Red Square, with some of them grouping to form the number 65. Preparations for the event are coming to a head and a final rehearsal of the Victory Day flyby will take place on Thursday.
The aircraft include Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers and supersonic Tu-160 Blackjacks, Tu-22M3 Backfire long-range bombers and Il-78 Midas aerial tankers from airbases from across Russia.
Parades to mark victory in World War II, referred to as the Great Patriotic War in former Soviet states, involve processions of personnel from all the services and a large military orchestra, followed by displays of military hardware and a fly past by combat aircraft.
The revived tradition of massive military Victory Day parades with tanks and other hardware rolling through the center of Moscow has been seen by some in the West as a sign of Russia's growing militarism, but this year the Russian troops will be joined by NATO forces, including from the United States and Britain.
MOSCOW, May 5 (RIA Novosti)