Show of strength

The parade included the display of Topol-M nuclear missiles and S-400 "Triumph" air defence rockets.

Russia's latest T-90 battle tanks, armoured vehicles, howitzers and cannons were also paraded past the Kremlin.

The new Mil Mi-28 attack helicopter made its public debut, joining about 70 other combat aircraft and helicopters that flew at low altitude over Red Square.

"It made a superb impression on me," Maria Glavdivana, an 87-year-old World War Two veteran, said.

"We are showing the world our masculinity, our strength. We will never, ever weaken."

Tributes paid

Medvedev also gave his thanks to Russian soldiers who fought in last year's war in Georgia.

"Those marching today in this square ... will include the ones who, in a real battle, proved the high combat-readiness of the modern Russian army," he said.

Russia's military campaign in Georgia came after Tbilisi tried to re-assert its control over the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

The conflict, which resulted in Russia's formal recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway region in Georgia, led to a further deterioration in Moscow’s relationship with the Nato military alliance.

Moscow has in the past expressed concerns that Nato has tried to expand its sphere of influence in countries lying just over Russia’s southern border, claims that the Western alliance deny.