Dvortsovaya Square hosted the Victory Parade. Alexander Odintsov witnessed the marching troops and war machines.
Alexander Odintsov, reporter: “Several hours before the main event, they are already – well, maybe not in fully armed state, but definitely in parade readiness. Long lines of war machines stretched along the Moyka embankment, thousands of troops stood right by the Dvortsovaya Square. Final preparations in place, only last-minute masterstrokes remaining – the formation lines are anticipating the celebratory march”
Veterans and servicemen started filling the stands long before the beginning. They must have been afraid of being late. For many of them, the Parade at Dvortsovaya is a long-standing tradition and a duty of sorts – to be here on this day. Heroes of that time have come to the Northern Capital from many cities in Russia and from abroad.
An entire delegation has come from Latvia. Including those who survived the entire 900 days of St. Petersburg’s blockade. The break of the siege and May 9th – they will never forget that.
- Joy and jubilation, tears, everything. Its hard to describe the variety of emotions.
Alexander Osovskiy, Great Patriotic War veteran: “On May 9th 1945 I was in Austria. Wanted to get back home soon to see my family, friends, and brothers”
The sounds which make one tremble. The “Holy War” was the song which saw soldiers off to the frontline. Liberators recognize it from the first accords and rise up. Banners make way into the Dvortsovaya - Russian Flag, replica of the Victory Banner and the military flag of the Western Military District.
120 steps per minute. Every move and every turn of head has been worked to perfection. A record breaking number of troops march down the square at the same tempo - 4 thousand people. Including cadetes and students of St. Petersburg’s Military Schools.
Followed immediately by mechanized formation. The most anticipated and visual part of the Parade to many. The best of the best are steering the machines. Maybe thats why the seemingly clumsy «Iskander» missile complex graciously makes corners, just like a much smaller «Tigr» humvee. 10 kilometres per hour, 10 meters between them. Participants of the mechanized parade trained their moves every day at the Pushkino airfield.
For the first time ever, the legendary T-34 tanks were cruising down Dvortsovaya alongside the modern T-72B-3. They were dressed in special tarmac «shoes» for the occasion.
Guests were seen off by the anthem of the Victory. But festivities did not end after the Parade.
Afanasiy Sharapov, Great Patriotic War veteran: «Its my 1st time at this Parade. I’ve been twice to the ones in Moscow. But this one is incomparable. Excellent! Just what’s needed!»