Vladimir Putin was today staging a monster military parade showcasing Russia’s huge firepower and hailing as heroes his troops who have seen service in Syria. The annual Red Square march and fly-past marks the defeat of Hitler in World War Two. But the strongman was using it today to showcase Russia’s modern military might, with one senior military commander saying it would make foreign foes “salivate”.

A debut Victory Day march was scheduled for schoolchildren in Russia’s new “Yunarmia”, a 30,000-strong militarized patriotic movement nicknamed the Putin Youth Army as established by the Defence Ministry. The Russian president was personally taking the salute at the parade involving 10,001 troops, 114 units of military equipment and 72 aircraft. READ MORE