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May Day! May Day! Cold War Heating Up!

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The Rooskies are rolling out the hardware once again.

Everybody’s talking tough these days. Hillary threatens to nuke Iran and now Vladimir Putin is launching the kind of “Victory Day” parade on Red Square that hasn’t been seen since the Soviet Union collapsed.

Here’s how France 24’s Nick Coleman described it today:

Fighter jets circled over Red Square on Monday as Russia prepared a huge patriotic display around this week’s presidential inauguration, amid rising tension with pro-Western neighbour Georgia.

MiG fighter jets together with strategic bomber planes thundered over the capital in a rehearsal for traditional World War II commemorations on Friday featuring a show of military hardware unprecedented for the post-Soviet era.

Vlad the Paler may be stepping down as president, but he’s still the prime minister, in every sense of the word. He ain’t giving up anything.

He’s rolling out the big guns, just like in the bad old days when thousands of missiles, troops, and weapons paraded in the square before the doddering conservatives who called themselves Communists.

Coleman’s story goes on to note Putin’s explanation of how the current display of planes, trained soldiers, and airplanes isn’t anything other than peaceful:

The military parade is part of the dramatic backdrop to president-elect Dmitry Medvedev‘s inauguration on Wednesday, following Soviet-style May Day parades last week.

President Vladimir Putin, who is to step down after eight years but retain power in the prime minister’s post, said the pumped up display was not intended as a threat.

“For the first time in many years heavy military equipment will be used. This is not sabre-rattling. We are not threatening anyone…. This is a demonstration of our growing defence capability,” Putin said.

Everybody loves a parade. That’s an order.