Children in southern Russia march in colorful World War II Victory Day parade to honor vets

Hundreds of children have walked past medal-bedecked Russian veterans in a parade marking the 70th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis in World War II.

Thursday's parade in the city of Rostov-on-Don, 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of the Ukraine border, featured preschoolers riding three-wheeled bikes while older children up to age 11 marched in columns. The show, held here for the sixth straight year, involved about 500 children.

Col. Sergey Menshikov of the Southern Military District that helped organize the show said it encouraged patriotic feelings.

The Rostov-on-Don celebration follows a massive military parade last Saturday on Red Square, the largest such show since the Soviet times.

The Victory Day is Russia's most important secular holiday, reflecting its enormous losses and suffering in the war.