Hundreds of Russian and Armenian soldiers marched in Gyumri Friday in a joint parade which marked the 69th anniversary of the Soviet victory in the Second World War.
“Congratulations on the 69th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War and the liberation of Shushi,” he told a meet Armenian troops lined up on the central square of Gyumri.
The parade was watched by thousands of local residents. Including a scroll armored vehicles and artillery systems belonging to Russian and Armenian armed forces.
A smaller number of Armenian and Russian soldiers marched to war memorial in Yerevan Victory Park after the Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian and other senior Armenian officials laid flowers. Thousands of people, including many veterans with gray hair wearing their war medals, visited the memorial throughout the day.
At least 320,000 Armenians were in the Soviet army during the bloodiest war in the history of mankind. Only a little more than half of them returned home alive.
Serzh Sargsyan paid tribute to their contribution to the Soviet victory in a statement released on the occasion. “During World War II, hundreds of thousands of Armenians fought in the trenches for justice and freedom,” he said.
Sargsyan also noted the anniversary of the Karabakh military operation, which proved crucial in the outcome of the war against Azerbaijan. “On 9 May 1992, we were back in the trenches for justice and freedom, the struggle against national discrimination and genocide,” he said.
Incidentally, Sargsyan was in Karabakh Friday to take part in official ceremonies celebrating the day of victory.