On Parade Red Army Style

On May 9, 1995 the first full scale military parade in Moscow since the fall of the Soviet Union was held in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Victory in Europe in 1945

The T-72B main battle tank was latterly fitted with ‘Kontakt-1’ explosive reactive armour blocks and as such known in the West as the T-72BV, though not so designated in Soviet service

Moscow’s May 9, 1995 parade was to be the first and only parade involving tanks and heavy weapons held in the city during the 1990s, although tanks had been deployed in the city in 1991 and 1993 when the country had twice teetered on the brink of civil war.

There were two parades that day; the first a morning parade with columns of marching troops on Red Square followed by an early afternoon mechanised parade on Kutuzovsky Prospekt, west of the city centre, a road which leads directly west to Minsk and onward to Warsaw.

‘The last parade I attended involved four security checks’

The reason for splitting the marching and mechanised parades between two locations rather than conducting both on Red Square was that a new underground multi-storey shopping mall was being constructed under Manezhnaya Square, which leads directly on to Red Square. So, although columns of troops could circumnavigate the building work and be formed on Red Square, heavy equipment could not.

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