Rehearsal for Victory Day military parade held in Moscow

A rehearsal for Thursday's Victory Day military parade has been held in Moscow.

Victory Day commemorates the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two. It is one of the most important holidays in Russia.

The Soviet Union is said to have lost more than 26 million soldiers and civilians during the war. The administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin has held military parades across the country on Victory Day to boost patriotism and bring people together.

Amid strict traffic controls on Sunday, many military vehicles were seen moving toward Red Square in central Moscow -- the venue for a commemoration ceremony.

Russia's defense ministry says more than 9,000 soldiers and over 70 items of weaponry and equipment will take part in Thursday's parade.

However, authorities have decided that a procession of citizens holding pictures of deceased family members who fought in the war will be canceled for the second straight year. They cited security concerns.

This year's Victory Day parade will be the third since Russia invaded Ukraine. Russian forces are currently stepping up their offensive in eastern Ukraine.

Some people in Moscow said other countries in the world understand that Russia will eventually win. Others said they hope for Russia's victory and the safe return of its troops, expressing their support for the soldiers' mothers and wives.

But some people said the fighting between the two countries is not like World War Two and they will not feel any pride regardless of whether Russia wins or loses.