MOSCOW - American, British and French troops are preparing to march across Red Square for the first time on Victory Day, a holiday so crucial to Russia's identity that even parade rehearsals are broadcast live.
By bringing foreign troops to take part in Sunday's annual display of military might, Russia is trying to underline its claim to be the main force behind the defeat of Nazi Germany 65 years ago and to vanquish what it perceives as foreign attempts to diminish the Soviet Union's role in the war.
The move also underlines Russia's keenness to show itself as a confident world power willing to work with the West — although its leaders sometimes have used the day to take sharp slaps at Washington. In 2007, then-President Vladimir Putin obliquely compared US foreign policy to that of the Third Reich.
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