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Russia Marks War Anniversary With Red Square Military Parade

Moscow, May 9 (RFE/RL) - Russia today marked the 51st anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe with a military parade in Red Square.

President Boris Yeltsin addressed parade participants from atop Lenin's tomb, hailing the victory over Nazi Germany and the millions of soldiers and civilians who lost their lives in the war.

Defense Minister Pavel Grachev reviewed the parade by more than 7,000 armed forces personnel, among them paratroopers, marines, military academy cadets and 700 armed forces bandsmen.

After the parade, Yeltsin left for Volgograd, in southern Russia, to continue campaigning for reelection in next month's presidential poll. Correspondents say Yeltsin will meet there with veterans who defended the city (then known as Stalingrad) during World War Two.

Yeltsin is then to travel by ship along the Volga river to the city of Akhtubinsk, a defense industry center, to meet with military pilots and inspecrt new generations of aircraft.