WWII Allies March in Moscow to Mark 65 Years Since Nazi Defeat

President Peres among leaders from over 24 countries marking Victory Day in Moscow's Red Square.

Thousands of soldiers from the three World War II allied countries marched together Sunday in Moscow's Red Square to mark 65 years since the defeat of the Nazis.

Troops from Britain, France and the United States, accompanied by a guard of honor from Poland, stepped onto the central square for an historic joint march with Russia. The celebration marked the country's largest military parade since the collapse of the Soviet Union, AFP reported.

President Shimon Peres attended the ceremony along with leaders from more than a dozen countries, including Chinese President Hu Jintao, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of state of almost every former Soviet nation.

"Sixty-five years ago, Nazism was defeated and a machine that was exterminating whole peoples was halted," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told a crowd of thousands which gathered at the square. "There was blood and tears. There was one choice - either victory or to become slaves. The war made us a strong nation."

Medvedev stressed the Soviet Union's leading role in defeating the Nazis in 1945, but also noted the contribution of the Allied forces.

He concluded his address Sunday by stating that only by standing together can we prevent the threat of war.

The Russian military boasted over 10,000 troops and hundreds of units of military hardware as a total of over 127 military aircrafts prepared to take to sky in a highly choreographed air display, AFP reported.

Western allies mark Victory in Europe Day on May 8 each year; however Russia celebrates Victory Day on May 9 as the German surrender went into force at 11:01 pm Berlin time, when it was already May 9 in Moscow.