Russian troops march during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (Putin has told the annual military Victory Day parade in Red Square that the country will continue to strengthen its armed forces. AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia will keep strengthening its armed forces, President Vladimir Putin promised Thursday, speaking at the annual military Victory Day parade that flooded Red Square in Moscow with celebrants, soldiers and military equipment.

The parade marked the 74th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. It included about 13,000 servicemen and 130 pieces of military equipment, ranging from a T-34 tank — renowned for its effectiveness in World War II — to lumbering Yars intercontinental missile launch units.

For the second time in three years, the parade did not conclude with an aerial display of helicopters and warplanes speeding above the square due to heavy clouds and concerns about storms.

Putin said later that he regretted the aircraft could not perform but added "there's no need to risk the safety of the pilots and the people on the ground."

Among the guests were recently resigned Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Steven Seagal, the American actor who obtained Russian citizenship in 2016 and later was named a special envoy for humanitarian ties with the United States.

"We have done and will do everything necessary to ensure the high combat capability of our armed forces," Putin said in his speech. "At the same time, Russia is open for cooperation with all who are ready to resist terrorism, neo-Nazism and extremism."

In the afternoon, an estimated half a million people streamed down one of Moscow's main thoroughfares, many holding photos of relatives who fought or suffered in the war. The Soviet Union is estimated to have lost 26 million people in World War II, including 8 million soldiers.

Dozens of other Russian cities also held parades for the country's most significant secular holiday.

In neighboring Ukraine, which also observes the holiday, outgoing President Petro Poroshenko struck out at Russia.

"For five years, the descendants of the glorious victors over Nazism have defended with arms the freedom of the Ukrainian people and their civilization choice from Russian aggression," Poroshenko said.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and backs separatist rebels who have been fighting Ukrainian forces in the country's east for the past five years, a conflict that has left over 13,000 dead.

TV actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy roundly defeated Poroshenko in Ukraine's April 21 presidential runoff.

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A previous version of this story corrected the day to Thursday, not Friday.

People carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, and Russian and Soviet flags, during the Immortal Regiment march through the main street toward Red Square celebrating 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)
Russian troops march during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. Putin has told the annual military Victory Day parade in Red Square that the country will continue to strengthen its armed forces.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to attend the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian troops march during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with WWII veterans prior to a military parade marking 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian honour guard carry a national flag, left, and a replica of the Victory banner during the military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
A honour guard takes position during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the Victory Day military parade marking 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian troops march during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
The support combat vehicles
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the Victory Day military parade marking 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, centre left, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, center, and Commander-in-Chief of the Graund Forces and Victory Parade Commander Colonel-General Oleg Salyukov, right, walk to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the military parade marking 74 years since the victory in WWII in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the military parade marking 74 years since the victory in WWII in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Victor Novopashin, 87, a Russian WWII veteran, left, greets Maria Kanushkina, 95, center, also a Russian WWII veteran celebrating 74 years since the victory in WWII in Gorky Park in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr.)
Victor Novopashin, 87, a Russian WWII veteran, second left, dances with a woman celebrating 74 years since the victory in WWII in Gorky Park in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr.)
Victor Novopashin, 87, a Russian WWII veteran dances with two women dressed in Soviet era uniform celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Gorky Park in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr.)
People carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, and Russian and Soviet flags, during the Immortal Regiment march through the main street toward Red Square celebrating 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)
Two elderly women wave a red flag as people carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, and Russian and Soviet flags, during the Immortal Regiment march through the main street toward Red Square celebrating 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)
People carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, and Russian and Soviet flags, during the Immortal Regiment march through the main street toward Red Square celebrating 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)
People carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, and Russian and Soviet flags, during the Immortal Regiment march through the main street toward Red Square celebrating 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)
People carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, and Russian and Soviet flags, during the Immortal Regiment march through the main street toward Red Square celebrating 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)
Russian troops march during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the military parade marking 74 years since the victory in WWII in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
A Russian veteran WWII arrives to attend the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. Putin told the annual military Victory Day parade in Red Square that the country will continue to strengthen its armed forces. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, centre, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, right, attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the military parade marking 74 years since the victory in WWII in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
People carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, and Russian and Soviet flags, during the Immortal Regiment march through the main street toward Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019, celebrating 74 years since the end of WWII and the defeat of Nazi Germany. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
People carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, and Soviet flags, during the Immortal Regiment march through the main street toward Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019, celebrating 74 years since the end of WWII and the defeat of Nazi Germany. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
People carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, and St. George's ribbon, during the Immortal Regiment march through the main street toward Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019, celebrating 74 years since the end of WWII and the defeat of Nazi Germany. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)
People carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, and St. George's ribbon, during the Immortal Regiment march through the main street toward Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019, celebrating 74 years since the end of WWII and the defeat of Nazi Germany. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)