U.S. servicemen have marched together with Russian soldiers in the Victory Day parade in Belarus.

The show of Allied unity in Minsk was in sharp contrast to the military parade in Moscow, which was shunned by the United States and most European countries because of Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict.

Opening Saturday's parade on the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said it was "deeply symbolic" that representatives of the U.S. and Russian armed forces were taking part.

Forty members of the U.S. Air Force band were among more than 5,000 troops in the parade.

Belarus, once part of the Soviet Union, has close ties with Russia, but Lukashenko has tried to serve as a bridge with the West by hosting Ukraine peace talks.