Moscow, May 9 (AZERTAC). President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who is on a working visit in Moscow on the invitation of Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, has today joined celebrative events marking the 65th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.

The Azerbaijani leader was welcomed in front of the Kremlin by his Russian counterpart.

President Ilham Aliyev chatted with war veterans.

The highlight of the celebrations was an annual military parade in the Red Square.

In his speech, the Russian President congratulated veterans on the Victory Day.

Medvedev said: “Sixty five years ago Nazism was vanquished. The machine that was eliminating whole nations was stopped. Peace returned to our country and to Europe as a whole. An end was put to the ideology that was destroying the foundations of civilization.”

“The Soviet Union bore the brunt of the Nazi attack. They threw in three quarters of their troops to the Eastern Front. They wanted to scorch our land. Instead they met with resistance - unexampled in courage and strength.”

“The lessons of World War II call us to solidarity. The world remains fragile. And we should remember that wars do not start in a flash. The evil gains its strength if we shrink back or try to ignore it,” he said.

“Only together can we counteract modern threats. Only based on the principles of good-neighborliness can we resolve issues of global security so that ideals of justice and of the good can triumph in the whole world and life of future generations can be free and happy,” Medvedev noted.

The Russian leader praised the veterans` services, saying: “Dear veterans! Sixty five years ago you won peace for our country and the whole world and granted us an opportunity just to live. I pay homage to you.”

This year`s celebration was attended by heads of state and government from over 20 countries as well as chiefs of international organizations.

Over 11,000 troops, including an Azerbaijani peacekeeping force led by Mayor Elshad Rustamov, marched through the Red Square.

Azerbaijan played a crucial role in the Great Patriotic War, losing over 600,000 people on the front. Nearly 130 Azerbaijanis have received the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest distinction in the Union awarded personally or collectively for heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society. Over 170,000 Azerbaijani soldiers and officers have been awarded different orders and medals.

Azerbaijan was the Soviet Union`s major oil supplier during the years of war, having contributed 70 percent of total oil supplies to the USSR. And it is hard to say what the war would have ended in if it was not for the Baku oil.

The military parade included tanks, ballistic missiles, armored troop-carriers, helicopters and fighter jets.

Following the parade, a wreath and flowers were laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the Kremlin Wall in the Alexander Garden, on behalf of the heads of state and government. The distinguished guests posed for photographs together in front of the Kremlin.

Later the same day, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hosted a solemn reception on the occasion of the Victory day.

President Ilham Aliyev attended the banquet.


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