Russia re-enacts historic wartime parade

Russian troops wearing World War II uniforms on Thursday marched across Moscow's Red Square in memory of the historic 1941 parade when Soviet soldiers went directly to the battlefield to fight the Nazis.

The annual re-enactment featuring some 4,000 troops and T-34 tanks commemorated the legendary November 7, 1941 parade whose participants marched from Red Square to the front line, becoming a symbol of courage and patriotism.

Some 7,000 guests including World War II veterans watched the parade.

"Our duty is to continue to be victorious and build a great country," Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said at the event.

The Red Army's triumph in the deadliest war in history is seen as a huge point of pride in Russia.

In recent years, the victory in the 1941-1945 conflict -- known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War -- has acquired signs of cult status.

Nazi Germany's invasion on June 22, 1941 caught Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin by surprise and Nazi troops were able to come close to Moscow.

The November 7 parade was seen as a much-needed morale booster and enraged Adolf Hitler.

Psychologist Irina Bobakova, whose grandfather was killed in 1941 in the battle for Moscow, said that it was important for a country to honour the memory of its history.

"Otherwise, there will be no great future," she told AFP.