Russia is holding an expanded Victory Day parade in Moscow May 9, BBC reports.

The military is parading more hardware than usual and the display, which marks the Soviet victory in World War Two, will go on for longer.

The parade in Moscow traditionally features a display of military hardware and a show of patriotic fervour on Red Square.

Putin told the crowd that the "iron will of the Soviet people" had saved Europe from slavery.

"It is a holiday when an overwhelming force of patriotism triumphs, when all of us feel particularly acutely what it means to be loyal to the Motherland and how important it is to defend its interests," he said.

Unconfirmed reports say President Vladimir Putin may visit a parade in Sevastopol, Crimea.Meanwhile, Ukraine's interim authorities have discouraged public gatherings amid fears that separatists might try to stoke violence.

Photo: APTN