Italy's Silvio Berlusconi and France's Nicolas Sarkozy had been expected to attend, but stayed home in order to be available for possible developments in Europe's financial crisis.
Victory Day, Russia's most important secular holiday, always sees elaborate observances throughout the country, but this year's was especially intense, with holiday preparations and parade rehearsals dominating TV news reports for the past week.
Such attention appeared in part to be a tacit acknowledgment that even the youngest World War II veterans are in the last years of their lives.
Image: People watch fireworks above the Moscow Red Square, late on Sunday, May 9, 2010. The day commemorates the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany.