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Indian Army contingent to take part in Moscow parade

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A view of the tanks at the Moscow Victory Day Parade. A file photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): A 71-member marching contingent of the Indian Army will take part in the 2015 Victory Day Parade in Moscow's Red Square on May 9, an event that would be witnessed by President Pranab Mukherjee.

This is the first time that the Indian Army is taking part in the Moscow Victory Day Parade, which is held to mark the day of Nazi Germany's surrender to the erstwhile Soviet Union in 1945.

Defence sources said that a contingent of 75 soldiers from the Grenadiers Regiment will be visiting Moscow next month for the event. While 71 would march, four will be on standby.

The surrender by the Nazi army had formally ended hostilities in the Second World War in Europe.

Unlike the rest of Europe, where it is celebrated on May 8, Victory Day in Russia is celebrated on May 9 as Germany's surrender was signed late in the evening on May 8, 1945, when it was already May 9 in Russia.

Russia's role in the recent crisis involving Crimea has prompted a number of western nations that had fought in World War II on the Allied side to not participate in this year's celebrations.

For the first time in 2010, the parade had included military units from foreign countries who were allied with the Soviet Union during World War II, with contingents from France, Poland, the UK, US and members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The last time an Indian Army unit participated in an international parade was in 2009 when they marched down Champs Elysees during the Bastille Day celebrations in France.

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