Vladimir Putin and officials arrive ahead of grand WWII parade in Moscow | AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets foreign officials arriving for a parade through Moscow’s Red Square marking 75 years since the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany. IMAGES

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Eastern Russian city of Vladivostok holds WWII parade | AFP

Russia marks 75 years since the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany by holding military parades in several cities. Forced to postpone the country’s traditional May 9 Victory Day celebrations by the coronavirus pandemic, Putin rescheduled the parade for just a week ahead of a July 1 public vote on controversial constitutional reforms. IMAGES

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Today in History for May 22nd

Highlights of this day in history: Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy sign the ‘Pact of Steel’; Richard Nixon is the first U.S. president to visit the Soviet Union; Actor Laurence Olivier born; Johnny Carson hosts his last ‘Tonight Show.’

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Today in History for May 12th

Highlights of this day in history: The Soviet Union announces an end to its blockade of Berlin; Body of missing Lindbergh baby is found in a wooded area; Burt Bacharach, Katherine Hepburn and George Carlin are born. (May 12)

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Today in History for May 1st

President George W. Bush announces major combat has ended in Iraq; U2 spy plane shot down over Soviet Union; Empire State Building dedicated. (May 1)

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Russia set to unveil giant ‘Orthodox Cathedral of Armed Forces’ | AFP

A giant Orthodox cathedral located at Patriot military park outside the Russian capital is slated to be unveiled next month to celebrate victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. Besides the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, the church also glorifies other “feats of arms of the Russian people” including Moscow’s takeover of Crimea in 2014, according to Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson. Standing 96 meters tall and crowned by six golden globes, the cathedral will be Russia’s third-largest Orthodox Christian church. The unprecedented project has been steeped in symbolism, with the bell chamber’s height — 75 meters — symbolising the 75th anniversary of victory over the Nazi. Melted-down elements of Nazi tanks and planes have been used to build the cathedral’s steps, the defence ministry spokesman said. Even before its formal opening on May 9, the church has become the target of fierce criticism and ridicule. It will be the first time that the Russian Orthodox Church has agreed that the image of Stalin — who famously clamped down on religion — appear in a cathedral, historians said.

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Today in History for March 11th

Highlights of Today in History: Bomb attack on Madrid’s commuter trains; Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic found dead; Mikhail Gorbachev becomes leader of Soviet Union; General Douglas MacArthur leaves Philippines in WWII. (March 11)

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Today in History for March 5th

Highlights of this day in history: The Boston Massacre; Winston Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’ speech; The Soviet Union’s dictator Josef Stalin dies; Comedian John Belushi found dead; Country singer Patsy Cline killed in a plane crash. (March 5

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Today in History for February 15th

Highlights of this day in history: The U.S. battleship Maine explodes in Havana harbor, bringing America closer to war with Spain; The Soviet Union’s last troops leave Afghanistan; Astronomer Galileo and suffragist Susan B. Anthony born. (Feb. 15)

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Russia funds IVF baby boom to battle population slump | AFP

Russia has seen its population fall during much of the period since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Its current population of 146 million is predicted to fall by 4 to 12 million by 2035. President Putin has rolled out a number of policies aimed at encouraging people to have babies. Since 2013, the IVF procedure has largely been state-funded under a compulsory health insurance scheme.

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Today in History for January 18th

Highlights of Today in History: Soviet Union breaks WWII Leningrad siege; Robert F. Scott reaches South Pole; Boston Strangler suspect Albert de Salvo convicted. (Jan. 18)

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Today in History for December 30th

Highlights of this day in history: Saddam Hussein executed; Chicago fire kills 600; Vladimir Lenin proclaims establishment of the Soviet Union; United Auto Workers union stage first “sit-down” strike; Musician Bo Diddley is born. (Dec. 30)

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Decades on, Soviet bombs still killing people in Afghanistan | AFP

Forty years after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan — and three decades since the conflict ended — the war’s legacy continues to claim lives across the country. A humanitarian organisation has been working in several Afghan provinces since 1999 to clear explosives left from a war most of the country’s current, young population never lived through.

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The women saving Afghanistan from Soviet explosives | AFP

Forty years after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan — and three decades since the conflict ended — the war’s legacy continues to claim lives across the country. A humanitarian organisation has been working in several Afghan provinces since 1999 to clear explosives left from a war most of the country’s current, young population never lived through.

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Vindman stresses his ‘American story’ in testimony

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who came to the U.S. from the Soviet Union as a child, told House lawmakers that describing President Donald Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president as ‘improper’ would not be tolerated in many other countries. (Nov. 19)

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Today in History for October 15th

Highlights of this day in history: Convicted Nazi war criminal Herman Goering commits suicide behind bars; World War I spy Mata Hari executed; Nikita Khrushchev ousted as Soviet Union’s leader; ‘I Love Lucy’ premieres on TV. (Oct. 15)

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The Chernobyl Wasteland From Above

Fifty thousand people lived in Pripyat, Ukraine before the Soviet Union ordered a complete evacuation following what remains the world’s worst nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station in 1986. The town stands as a stark reminder of the danger inherent in nuclear power.

VICE News visited the town to see how the site has dealt with the cleanup and to find out what the future holds for the location of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

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