Moscow, Jun 24 (PTI) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said he was extremely proud that a 75-member Tri-service contingent of the Indian Armed Forces participated in the 75th anniversary of the Victory Day Parade at the iconic Red Square here on Wednesday.
Singh arrived here on a three-day visit on Tuesday at the invitation of the Russian Ministry of Defence to attend the celebrations.
'Attending the Victory Day Parade at Red Square in Moscow today to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Victory of the Soviet People in the great Patriotic War of 1941-1945,' Singh tweeted.
'I am proud that a Tri-Service contingent of the Indian Armed Forces is also participating in this parade,' he tweeted.
'Impressive turnout of the Tri-Service contingent of the Indian Armed Forces at the Victory Day Parade in Moscow is indeed an extremely proud and happy moment for me,' Singh said in another tweet.
The Indian embassy later tweeted that the Defence Minister was accompanied by Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, Vice Admiral Hari Kumar and Ambassador D B Venkatesh Varma.
The Tri-Service contingent of the Indian Armed Forces comprised 75 all ranks and marched along with contingents of Russian Armed Forces and 17 other countries, according to an official statement.
The British Indian Armed Forces during World War-II were one of the largest Allied Forces contingents which took part in the North and East African Campaign, Western Desert Campaign and the European Theatre against the Axis powers. This campaign witnessed sacrifice by over 87,000 Indian servicemen beside 34,354 being wounded, the statement said.
The Indian Military not only fought on all fronts, but also ensured delivery of goods along the Southern, Trans-Iranian Lend-Lease route, along which weapons, ammunitions, spare parts for equipment and food went to the Soviet Union, Iran and Iraq, it said.
On Tuesday, Singh called on Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov and the two leaders held discussions on the bilateral relationship, regional issues, and reviewed the India-Russia defence cooperation.
Singh also conveyed his greetings for the solemn ceremonies of the 75th Victory Day and congratulated the 'friendly' people of Russia, specially the veterans, who have contributed to the common security of India and Russia, the statement said on Tuesday.
The parade was reviewed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, war veterans and guests, including Defence Minister Singh.
This year, 14,000 troops and several hundred military machines took part in the parade, including 30 historic T-34 tanks. Modern vehicles also participated, including AFV Terminator, T-72, and T-14 Armata tanks, 9K720 Iskander missile systems, and many other cutting-edge military hardware, Sputnik International reported.
Planes and helicopters also participated in an air parade, with Su-25s colouring the sky in white, blue, and red - the colours of the Russian flag, the report added.
President Putin congratulated the military and guests, saying this victory determined the future of the planet.
Russia postponed its military parade traditionally held on Moscow’s Red Square on May 9 for a later date due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 26, President Putin announced that the Victory Parade would be held on Moscow’s Red Square on June 24.
He explained that this was chosen because on June 24, 1945 the legendary historic parade of victors took place, when soldiers, who fought for Moscow and defended Leningrad, who stood their ground for Stalingrad, liberated Europe and stormed Berlin, marc hed on Red Square.
Singh is the first senior union minister to undertake a foreign visit in four months as international travels were restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic. PTI AMS AKJ AMS