- 23-Dec-2009

Russia will hold its first nationwide Victory Day parade next year, with simultaneous events in 17 cities, to mark the 65th anniversary of Nazi Germany's defeat during World War II.

"Such a large-scale event will be held in Russia for the first time. At 10:00 a.m. Moscow time on May 9, 2010, the nationwide Victory Day parade will simultaneously take place in all hero cities and cities with military bases," the Russian President's Property Manager, Vladimir Kozhin, told reporters here on Tuesday.

"Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will not send personal invitations this time, but we will welcome everyone. The V-Day is a universal holiday," he added.

Following the parade, a presidential reception would be hosted at the Kremlin, with the participation of World War II veterans and foreign heads of state and government, said Kozhin,

On the Ivanovskaya Square in the Kremlin, a tent camp with mobile army kitchens and armaments will be set up for the reception, according to the Interfax news agency.

Kozhin said there would also be a star-studded concert and fireworks.

Major events celebrating Nazi Germany's defeat would start on May 8 next year, when a new war memorial would be unveiled in the park near the Kremlin wall, the senior Kremlin official said. It was possible leaders from post-Soviet nations would attend.

Victory Day is an important national holiday for Russia, which lost more than 27 million people during World War II.

Editor: Lin Zhi

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