WWII Victory Day in Pictures

May 9th was observed as "Victory Day" in Russia and (to varying degrees) many former Eastern Bloc countries. Commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany 64 years ago, in 1945, Victory Day is both a day of remembrance and recently, for the Russian government, an opportunity to revive the nation's armed forces and global clout. Upwards of 27 million Soviets, both military and civilian, lost their lives in World War II, between 1941 and 1945, and the impact of that conflict still reverberates strongly. Collected here are photos of the recent Victory Day Parade in Moscow, and several other observances in former Eastern Bloc countries.

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Belarussian soldiers participate in Victory Day celebrations in Minsk on May 9, 2009 commemorating the end of WWII. Belarus was heavily invoved in the war as its soldiers served in the Soviet Red Army and many battle were fought on its territory. (VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)


Russian soldiers march during a Victory Day parade rehearsal, outside Moscow in Alabino on April 14, 2009. (OXANA ONIPKO/AFP/Getty Images)


A man stands near a memorial wall for German soldiers that were killed during WWII, about 450km north of Moscow in Korpovo on May 4, 2009. (DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images)


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