4 Not-So-Victorious Moments Which Stuck Out From Putin's 'Victory Day' Celebrations

Amid Putin's usual boasts and threats, a few things did go wrong in Moscow today.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin celebrating on "Victory Day".
Russia's President Vladimir Putin celebrating on "Victory Day".
MIKHAIL METZEL via Getty Images

Russia had its annual “Victory Day” celebrations today, so president Vladimir Putin obviously used the opportunity to bash the West and talk up his country’s strength.

The patriotic event is meant to serve as a reminder of Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany 79 years ago, but it is also used to show off its military prowess and threaten any of Russia’s enemies.

However, amid all the pageantry, there were a few less-than-glamorous moments which made it through the cracks...

1. Two officers failed to salute Putin

According to a clip shared by Eastern European outlet Nexta, two officers seemed not to salute Putin while he was reviewing a line of people in military uniform.

Nexta named the two figures as the deputy head of the Ryazan Airborne Troops School, Colonel Sergei Molochnikov, and head of the Emergencies Ministry Academy, Lieutenant General Viktor Panchenko.

The incident was made even more obvious because the president received an individual salute and a handshake from everyone in the line, aside from those two.

2. Putin admits to a ‘difficult period’

Putin, who started his fifth term in office this week, kicked off his short speech by ranting about Russia’s strength, and sending less-than-subtle threats to any country who gets in their way.

Hinting at Russia’s nuclear power, he said: “Russia will do everything to prevent a global clash. But at the same time, we will not allow anyone to threaten us.

“Our strategic forces are always in a state of combat readiness.”

He also called the Western elites “arrogant” for forgetting the part the Soviet Union played in defeating Nazi Germany during World War 2.

But, when he alluded to the war in Ukraine, there was a slight shift in tone.

Putin suddenly said: “Russia is going through a difficult, crucial period. The destiny of our motherland and future depends on all of us.”

He did manage to recover from this unexpected moment though – and, after asking for a minute of silence for the dead, he said: “For Russia! For Victory! Hurrah!”

The thousands of troops listening to his speech responded with three loud cheers of their own.

3. Where are all the tanks?

Only one tank was present in the Moscow parade this year, which is obviously less than ideal in a display meant to show off Russia’s military prowess.

The rest are presumably on the front line, fighting Ukraine as part of Putin’s attempted land grab.

The Second World War T34 tank was the only one on display last year, too – something Ukraine mocked its enemies over at the time.

For comparison, the delayed 2020 parade allegedly included more than 20 tanks.

4. And....A lost shoe?

Amid an incredibly regimented ceremony, where thousands of troops march in perfect unison, there was one slightly strange sight: a lost shoe.

It appears one of those in the Moscow parade lost their footwear – but clearly did not want to disrupt the ceremony and so the troops continued marching over it.

While this does not seem like much of a big deal, a British intelligence memo published last April revealed the brutal way commanders punish their troops for perceived breaches in discipline, like drunkenness or attempts to terminate their contracts.

This includes detaining the offending troops in improvised cells consisting of holes in the ground with a metal grille.


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