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    Victory Day parade to take heavy toll on Moscow roads

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    Moscow authorities will spend around $60 million on resurfacing city roads after a Victory Day parade at Red Square on May 9, a city administration official said on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow authorities will spend around $60 million on resurfacing city roads after a Victory Day parade at Red Square on May 9, a city administration official said on Tuesday.

    "Some 1.44 billion rubles ($60 million) will be spent to repair asphalt-and-concrete road surfaces over an area of more than 900,000 square meters," he said.

    He added that another 9 million rubles ($375,000) will be needed to repair utilities, sewage and drainage facilities in the city.

    A source at the Moscow city government Urban Development, Housing and Utilities Department said earlier the military hardware that had passed along central streets in a final rehearsal on May 5 had not caused any damage to the roads.

    He said, in particular, tank tracks had been covered with special plastic and rubber treads to minimize the impact on the road surface.

    During the rehearsal for the parade, a crowd of spectators cheered the appearance of formidable T-90 main battle tanks, Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems, S-300 air defense systems, Iskander-M tactical missile systems and Topol-M ballistic missile systems.

    Several Tu-160 Blackjack and Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers, a Tu-22M Backfire long-range bomber and Russia's aerobatic teams, Strizhi and Russkiye Vityazi flew over Red Square at an altitude of about 1,000 feet.

    It was reported earlier that up to 12 military aircraft will be on standby to disperse clouds to ensure good weather over Red Square during Victory Day celebrations.

    Employing techniques perfected over decades, Moscow authorities plan to use environmentally friendly and harmless chemicals to clear clouds and prevent rain. Last year the Russian Air Force dispersed clouds above the city using dry ice, silver iodide and cement powder.

    Victory Day marks the final surrender by Nazi Germany to the U.S.S.R. in WWII, often referred to as the Great Patriotic War in Russia and other states in the former Soviet Union.

    After a 17-year break, outgoing President Vladimir Putin gave the go-ahead for the resumption of flyovers by strategic bombers and displays of sophisticated military hardware during this year's Victory Day parade.

    The first Victory Parade was held on Red Square on June 24, 1945 on the order of the then-Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Joseph Stalin.

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