But amid the nationwide assertions of strength and pride were violent reminders of the unrest that plagues Russia's Caucasus republics.
A car bomb explosion killed two people near a Russian military base Sunday and a soldier was killed in a separate blast in the same city of Kaspiisk - where a Victory Day parade bombing in 2002 killed 43 people.
Insurgents have often chosen the holiday to launch terrorist attacks, including the 2004 killing of Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, who died in a bomb blast while attending a military parade at a stadium.
Kaspiisk is in Dagestan, which is Chechnya's eastern neighbor and which has been plagued by insurgent violence for more than a decade.
Image: Moscovites listen to a World War II veteran, left, as they mark Victory Day celebrations in front of the Bolshoi Theater, Moscow, Sunday, May 9, 2010.