World War II veteran Dmitry Syrkashev recalled how he was invited by President Vladimir Putin to be at his side during the Victory Day parade march, after being stopped by the president's bodyguards, in an interview filmed in Moscow on Wednesday.
«The president knows me, because we have met before,» said Syrkashev, showing numerous photos with Putin. «He called me close and I went with him. His... Еще personal guards wanted to stop me, but the president hold me and the guards didn't touch me.»
The war veteran was just shy of 17 years old when WWII broke out and he immediately joined the Red Army. «Our forces took Koenigsberg, I took part in the assault. I was slightly wounded by a shard, but remained in the military,» he recalls.
The 93-year-old veteran seemed content in his retirement, saying «I receive good pension and medical care.»
On Wednesday morning, the veteran tried to come up to Putin at the end of the Victory Day parade, but the Russian leader's guards pushed him away. The scene attracted the attention of Putin, and he promptly stopped to talk with the man.
Later both the president and the veteran took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
More than 13,000 servicemen, 159 pieces of military equipment and 75 aircraft took part in the Moscow Victory Day military parade.