A Russian cadet stands guard in front of a military memorial during a ceremony to mark the Victory Day.
A Russian cadet stands guard in front of a military memorial during a ceremony to mark the Victory Day.
PIC: AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin marked Victory Day, the anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, in a ceremony shorn of its usual military parade and pomp by the coronavirus pandemic.

Putin on Saturday laid flowers at the tomb of the unknown soldier just outside the Kremlin walls and gave a short address honoring the valour and suffering of the Soviet army during the war.

Victory Day is Russia's most important secular holiday and this year's observance had been expected to be especially large because it is the 75th anniversary, but the Red Square military parade and a mass procession called The Immortal Regiment were postponed as part of measures to stifle the spread of the virus.

The only vestige of the conventional show of military might was a flyover of central Moscow by 75 warplanes and helicopters.

The ceremony was the first public appearance in about a month for Putin, who has worked remotely as the virus took hold.

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