Young Army activists, Donchanka rifles, quad bikes, legendary T-34 tank: Victory Day parade in Donetsk

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Donetsk, May 9 – DAN. The Donetsk garrison units in full dress have finished the march in central Donetsk marking a Victory Day anniversary. The hero city and a frontline stronghold in the Donbass conflict, glorified the Soviet liberator people who had defended freedom and peace in Europe.

“The Russian people is famed for its stamina. We stand strong in venerating the feats of our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers… Every year, our people are ever more inspired, proud and aware of the fact that we are the successors to the Great Victory… We’ll carry the power of truth through years to pass it to future generations,” said Donetsk People’s Republic Head Denis Pushilin as he addressed the DPR residents.

Parade commander Col Eduard Pelepenko led the march along Donetsk’s central Artyom Street. He was followed by Donetsk Military Lyceum cadets. A square of Young Guard – Young Army patriotic movement activists joined the parade. The movement was established in April 2019 to promote civic engagement, patriotism and commitment to the ideas of internationalism among young people.

Traditionally, onlookers’ attention was drawn to People’s Militia parade units and separate Guard units Komsomolkoye, Gorlovka, Kupol and the unit named after first DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko.

Over the recent years, People’s Militia units have been protecting the Republic’s territory; they were involved in the key military operations such as the fight for Debaltsevo, Ilovaisk, Uglegorsk and the legendary Saur Mogila hill.

Donetsk police academy students and interior troops were among the marchers. The DPR Interior Ministry troops’ fighting record began in September 2014. Its personnel took part in the defence of Slavyansk, the fight for the Donetsk airport and the liberation of Debaltsevo.

Emergencies Ministry units which included female personnel, were prominent in the parade ground column. The were followed by Civil Defence Academy cadets.

Donetsk Combined Arms School students brought up the rear of the ground column.

As in 2018, the eye-catching mechanised column was led by the legendary T-34 tank. This tank was part of the memorial complex on Saur Mogila which was in the thick of fighting in 2014. The specialists who restored it in 2017 said it was battle worthy again.

The modern military equipment shown at the parade included BTR-80 armoured personnel carriers of the Jaguar rapid response force which was once commanded by DPR hero Arsen Pavlov (call sign Motorola). Snipers on quad bikes, armed with DPR-designed Donchanka rifles, a DPR anti-sabotage unit, were in the rear of the column.

The next column presented infantry fighting vehicles, T-64 and T-72 tanks, Strela-10 air defence systems, Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers, Grad MLRS, mortars, Rapira anti-tank guns and D-30 and Msta-B howitzers and a ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun.

Experts said that over the recent years, the parade in Donetsk had become a spectacular event and that in the post-Soviet space, it was second only to the Moscow parade. Victory Day in Donetsk is a demonstration of special indissoluble connection of the present with the past and the solidarity of generations.

Dozens of thousands of DPR residents and guests from Kiev-controlled areas of Donbass gathered in central Donetsk. The Republic’s commander-in-chief, DPR Head Denis Pushilin, government officials, parliamentarians and cultural workers, scientists and public activists attended the event. They will join the Immortal Regiment march in honour of their relatives who died in the fight for freedom and peace.*jk

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