MOSCOW, May 9 -- President Vladimir Putin said Friday the Victory Day is a symbol of Russian people's triumph against Nazism, and May 9 will always be the country's biggest holiday.
"We will always cherish this sacred and unfading truth. And we will never allow the betrayal and oblivion of the heroes -- all those who selflessly safeguarded peace on our planet," Putin said at the Victory Parade on the Red Square.
Friday coincides with the 69th anniversary of Victory Day marking the defeat of Nazi Germany in WWII. The parade, which lasted for roughly one hour, involved more than 11,000 servicemen, 151 pieces of military hardware and 69 aircraft.
Putin said the May 9 "is a holiday that demonstrates the invincible power of patriotism, the day when all of us become emotionally aware of what it is like to be devoted to the Motherland and how important it is to defend the country's interests."
The commander-in-chief also hailed the courage displayed during the siege of Leningrad, now St. Petersburg.