23.02.2017 18:37   International

Moscow celebrates Defender of the Fatherland Day

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Vladimir Putin laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall, - TASS

Russian President Vladimir Putin laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in downtown Moscow as part of the celebrations of Defender of the Fatherland Day on Thursday. Putin was accompanied by World War II veterans, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, State Duma (lower house of parliament) Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and other state officials. The memorial in the Alexander Garden by the Kremlin wall was unveiled in 1967. A Changing of the Guard Ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier every hour.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of Russia (KPRF) organized a march in central Moscow to celebrate the 99th anniversary of the Soviet Army and Navy. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov said at the march that Russia today is facing "foreign threats and sanctions" and "needs a major reunion of all state and patriotic forces." The organizers said the march brought together some 30,000 people.

The celebrations of Defender of the Fatherland Day in Moscow will end with a fireworks display. Defender of the Fatherland Day, formerly known as Day of the Soviet Army and Navy, was made a day off in Russia in 2002. This year Russians enjoy a four-day weekend to celebrate the holiday.

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