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In Photos: 'Russia' Expo Trumpets Military Power, National Unity

The massive "Russia" International Exhibition Forum opened Saturday at Moscow's VDNKh exposition center.

The show, decreed by President Vladimir Putin in March, has been described by some observers as part of the ideological framework for his re-election, which is expected next March.

Reports in Russian media last month said Putin plans to use the forum as the setting for announcing that he will run for a fifth presidential term.

A message by Putin for the event opening set the tone of the exhibit:

"Any provocations and aggressive actions directed against Russia are doomed to failure. Because we are a single people, bound by a common history, fraternal bonds of friendship and mutual understanding."

Here are some photos from the event so far: