Russia Victory Day parade: Only one tank on display as Vladimir Putin says country is going through 'difficult period'

Russia only had one tank on display during its Victory Day parade this year.

Every year, Moscow wraps itself in patriotic pageantry for Victory Day, a celebration of its victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

Today marks the 79th anniversary and Mr Putin addressed the parade in the Red Square, talking up his country's military capabilities in a speech aimed as much at a foreign audience as a domestic one.

Vladimir Putin used his Victory Day speech this year to try and warn Russia's combat forces were "always ready" but admitted the country was going through a "difficult period".

In the parade in Moscow, only one tank was present throughout the entire display - as the country continues to dedicate considerable firepower and resources to its war in Ukraine.

The Second World War T34 tank was the only one present - as it was last year too.

Back in the delayed 2020 parade there were reportedly over 20 tanks present, compared to just one in 2023 and one in 2024.

Other armoured vehicles were pictured as thousands of servicemen marched along the parade.

During this year's speech, Mr Putin admitted that Russia was going through a "difficult period" as the "future of the motherland depends on us".

"Today on Victory Day we are conscious of that even more acutely," he said before warning: "Our strategic forces are always combat ready."

The leader of the Kremlin also said Russia's nuclear forces were always at combat readiness, as he addressed massed ranks of Russian servicemen.

Mr Putin, who this week began his fifth term in office, said Russia would do everything it could to avoid global confrontation, but it would not allow anyone to threaten it.

He also used the speech to send a message to the Russian troops fighting in Ukraine, trying to bolster their morale as the war continues to drag on.

He finished on: "For Russia! For victory! Hurrah!" as thousands of soldiers cheered in return.

Earlier this year, Russia began refitting old tanks after losing 3,000 while fighting in Ukraine, according to a leading research centre.

Moscow lost more than its entire pre-invasion active inventory of tanks in its war with Ukraine, but has enough lower-quality armoured vehicles in storage for years of replacements, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said.

But even after such losses, the IISS said Russia still had about twice as many available for combat as Ukraine.

Since coming to power, Mr Putin has made 9 May an important part of his political agenda, featuring displays of military might.

Columns of military vehicles and missiles roll across Red Square every year and squadrons of fighter jets roar overhead as medal-bedecked veterans join him to review the parade.

Many wear the black-and-orange St George's ribbon that is traditionally associated with Victory Day.