Independence Day: Armenia holds September 21 military parade (photogallery)

Independence Day: Armenia holds September 21 military parade (photogallery)

NAZIK ARMENAKYAN
ArmeniaNow

Armenia has put on the biggest show of its military power in five years to mark the 20th anniversary of the declaration of the Republic’s independence.


At around midday on September 21 columns of servicemen as well as tanks, military vehicles, towed artillery systems and other pieces of modern hardware paraded past the country’s leadership standing on a podium in Yerevan’s main Republic Square. Chaplains of the Armenian Apostolic Church serving for the Armed Forces also took part in the parade, as did a unit representing the Russian military base stationed in Gyumri.



Meanwhile, warplanes and helicopter gunships roared overhead, with SU-25 jets spraying the colors of the Armenian tricolor (red, blue and orange) in the sky, to the delight of numerous ordinary members of the public, some of whom had come to the square to watch the spectacular show with their kids.

Predictably, the centerpiece of the events was the show of S-300 air-defense systems of Russian make that Armenia only recently officially confirmed to be in possession of. Other highlights of the military parade included unmanned aerial vehicles of Armenian production called “Krunk”, Russian-made 9K72 surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and the tactical operational missile complex “Tochka-U” (the improved Scarab B).

In his speech to the troops, other parade participants and the entire nation Armenia’s President and Commander-in-Chief Serzh Sargsyan talked about the path of the nation during the two decades of its independence, stressing that “all the achievements and omissions are ours”.

The Armenian leader voiced his belief that “with this realization and public solidarity in the next 20 years we will be able to build a country that is close to our ideals.”

“This parade is a bright episode of the eternal march of the Armenians,” Sargsyan underscored.