About 300,000 people have walked through central Moscow holding portraits of relatives who fought in World War II.

As the head of the vast column reached Red Square, the marchers were joined by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who held a photograph of his late father in his naval uniform.

The march of the so-called Immortal Regiment was part of Saturday's commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany.

Earlier in the day, 16,500 troops took part in a military parade on Red Square.

Putin said that his father "like millions of simple soldiers, and he was a simple soldier, had the right to walk across this square. But their fate turned, so that not all of them could."

Similar marches were held in other Russian cities.