At a large military parade in Moscow's Red Square marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over the Nazis in World War II, President Putin chose to attack the West and the rise of neo-Nazism in Europe. The annual parade was held under cloudy skies with 12,000 troops, 190 types of weapon systems, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, and a flyover by 80 Russian Air Force planes.
Among other things, Putin said in his speech that "Unfortunately there are once again attempts to deploy many things from the ideology of the Nazis, and "not only (by) all sorts of radicals and international terrorist groups." According to Reuters, it was meant as a criticism of the West and of what the Kremlin calls the rise of neo-Nazism in Europe. Putin emphasized that Russia will uphold the law but will firmly protect its interests.
The parade took place this year amid tension between the two superpowers over the issues of Ukraine, Crimea and Alexei Navalny, an opponent of the Russian regime. Washington and Moscow have expelled each other's diplomats several times this year. Smaller military parades commemorating the victory over the Nazis were also held Sunday in many Russian cities as well as at bases, including a small parade at the Hmeymim air base in Syria.