A sleek new stealth fighter jet that Russia recently combat-tested in Syria took center stage at a massive military parade in Moscow celebrating the Soviet Army’s victory over Nazi Germany during World War II.
A total of 13,000 troops, military police and cadets, as well as 159 combat vehicles and 75 aircraft rolled onto Red Square on Wednesday to mark Victory Day.
Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jets flew overhead, two months after they were spotted undergoing “real-world” testing in Syria. The fifth-generation aircraft are billed as Russia’s answer to the U.S. F-22 Raptor stealth fighter, with first deliveries expected next year.
“All the countries and all of mankind have to realize that peace is very fragile,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an address commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the Allied Forces’ victory.
The parade also featured an updated Buk missile system identified in the 2014 downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine and hypersonic missiles Putin showcased in a saber-rattling speech in March.
“This has always been and will always be the most sacred holiday to every family, to our entire great country. This is a holiday that makes our entire nation proud,” Putin said in opening remarks in an assertion backed up by popular polling.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the ceremony as guests of honor, a year after only one foreign leader attended the parade.