Minister of Defence (Raksha Mantri) Rajnath Singh paid a 3-day visit to Russia from June 23- 25, 2020 on the invitation of Defence Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Shoigu to attend the 75th Anniversary of Victory Day Parade and to strengthen the longstanding special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia.
- He is the first senior Union Minister to undertake a foreign visit in four months as international travels were restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- His delegation included Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and a high-ranking officer from each of the three branches of the armed forces. The plane landed at Moscow’s Vnukovo-3 airport.
Following events were held during his visit:
–Defence Minister Rajnath Singh attends Victory Day Parade in Moscow, Russia on June 24
Rajnath Singh attended the Victory Parade at the iconic Red Square in Russia’s capital Moscow on June 24, 2020 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Soviet People in the great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 i.e. Second World War (World War II). The Parade is organised to honour the heroism and sacrifices made by the Russian and other friendly people. It was originally scheduled on May 9, 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi had also congratulated President of the Russian Federation Vladimir through a special message sent on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Victory Day.
75-member Tri-service: Indian military contingent participates in Victory Day Parade in Russia
A Tri-Service 75- Member Indian Military Contingent along with contingents of Russian Armed Forces and 17 other countries participated in the Victory Parade. The Indian marching contingent was led by a major rank officer of the gallant Sikh Light Infantry Regiment. The Regiment had fought with valour in World War II and has a proud distinction of earning four Battle Honours and two Military Cross, among other gallantry awards.
- This year, 14,000 troops and several hundred military machines took part in the parade, including 30 historic T-34 tanks. Modern vehicles also participated, including AFV Terminator, T-72, and T-14 Armata tanks, 9K720 Iskander missile systems, and many other cutting-edge military hardware.
–Rajnath Singh met Russian Deputy PM Yury Borisov to review India-Russia defence cooperation
On June 23, 2020, Rajnath Singh met the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Ivanovichh Borisov to discuss bilateral relationship, regional issues, and reviewed the India-Russia defence cooperation. Russia will accelerate deliveries of some defence contracts with India including the S-400 long range air defence system.
- He also visited Indian Embassy in Moscow and laid a wreath at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.
- It is to be noted that Yury Borisov is the co-chair of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) along with India’s external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. He also co-chairs the High Level Committee on Science and Technology with Rajnath Singh.
Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar also had discussions with his counterpart, Deputy Defence Minister, Col General Alexander Fomin. They discussed bilateral defence cooperation issues and issues of regional development.
–Rajnath Singh holds talks with Myanmar Military Chief
On June 25, 2020 Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting with Myanmar’s Military Chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
Currency– Burmese kyat
President– U Win Myint
Capital – Moscow
Currency – Rouble
The British Indian Armed Forces during World War-II were one of the largest Allied Forces contingents which took part in the North and East African Campaign, Western Desert Campaign and the European Theatre against the Axis powers. This campaign witnessed sacrifice by over 87,000 Indian servicemen beside 34,354 being wounded. The valour of the Indian soldiers was recognised with the award of over four thousand decorations, which also included the award of 18 Victoria and George Cross.
- In addition the then Soviet Union appreciated the valour of the Indian Armed forces and by the decree of 23 May 1944, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR signed by Mikhail Kalinin and Alexander Gorkin awarded the prestigious Orders of the Red Star to Subedar Narayan Rao Nikkam and Havildar Gajendra Singh Chand of Royal Indian Army Service Corps.