MOSCOW, April 1 (RIA Novosti) - Sixty-nine planes and helicopters will fly over Moscow's Red Square next month during a military parade celebrating the anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, while the Crimean town of Kerch will hold its first ever Victory Day parade, Russian officials have said.
"During the military parade on May 9, sixty-nine modern planes will fly over Red Square, representing the latest Russian aviation technology," Colonel Igor Klimov told RIA Novosti.
"The number of aircraft symbolizes the 69th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War," added Klimov, a representative of the Russian Air Force.
A group of four light class Yak-130 trainer jets will take part in the parade for the first time. Viewers will see the trademark "Cuban diamond" maneuver performed by nine fighter jets of the Russian Knights and Swifts acrobatic groups, while pilots of the Lipetsk State Aviation Center will demonstrate a tactical air wing formation consisting of nine SU-34, Su-27 and MiG-29 planes.
For the first time in history, a Victory Day parade will be held in Kerch in the east of Crimea. Meanwhile in Sevastopol, residents will celebrate on a much larger scale compared to previous years, Colonel Igor Gorbul, a spokesman for Russia's Southern Military District told reporters.
"This year the military parade of the Russian forces on May 9 will be held in the hero-city of Kerch. Personnel of the Black Sea Fleet and troops of the Russian Interior Ministry will take part in the parade," Gorbul said.
"In the hero-city of Sevastopol, the Victory Day parade will be 50 percent larger than in previous years. About a thousand soldiers and more than 30 pieces of military hardware will march in the ceremonial convoy," added Gorbul.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier said that this year's Victory Day celebrations have a particularly important political meaning, emphasizing the necessity to "demonstrate to the world that Russia has zero tolerance for fascism".