Tanks and other military hardware have been paraded through Moscow's Red Square for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
On display at the V-Day parade were weapons such as the Topol-M ballistic missile.
The annual ceremony commemorates the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945. This year the Russian leadership revived the Communist-era custom of showing off hardware.
Dmitry Medvedev, who was inaugurated as Russia's new president on Wednesday, watched the parade alongside his predecessor, Vladimir Putin.
Soldiers goose-stepped across the square, and rode in a T-90 tank. Observers say the Russian leadership was keen to show off the country's military might.
The leaders insisted the event was not intended to threaten anyone. Some soldiers wore replica World War II uniforms.
The cobbles of Red Square had to be reinforced to cope with the tanks and other heavy weaponry.
Commentators say that despite the show of force, the Russian army suffers from lack of money, a shortage of training, and low morale.
But President Medvedev said Russia's army and navy were gaining strength.