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The May 1 parade in Moscow to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II was the greatest Victory Day celebration since the Soviet Union's collapse.Instead, Putin's high-profile guests included the leaders of China, India and North Korea, underscoring just how few friends Russia has these days.A month later, Putin reinforced this image of Russians as the morally superior victims of a cruel and uncompromising West.At the time, the military parade in Red Square – featuring almost 35,000 troops, up to 1,900 pieces of military equipment, and a 1,400-man orchestra – was a well-deserved pageant.In 2005, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, Putin held a major parade – one that Western leaders, believing that Russia might have a European future, did attend.The parallels with Putin's Russia are clear. Putin views himself as a new czar. Putin may try to portray his actions in Ukraine as a fight against fascism.
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