Thousands of Russian soldiers and military cadets marched across Red Square on Monday to mark the 70th anniversary of a historic World War II parade.

The show honored the participants of the Nov. 7, 1941 parade, who afterward headed to the frontline to defend Moscow from invading Nazi forces. Monday's parade involved about 6,000 people _ many of them dressed in World War II-era uniforms _ and featured T-34 tanks and other historic weapons.

Veterans watched the event, which included a combat imitation exercise and artillery crews getting ready for combat.

During Soviet times, military parades were held annually on Nov. 7, a holiday commemorating the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Russia abolished the Nov. 7 holiday in 2005, but many older Russians still celebrate it and the Communist Party continues to hold its traditional parade.

On Monday evening, a few thousand Communist Party members carrying red flags marched down a central Moscow avenue for a rally near a statue of Karl Marx. Party leader Gennady Zyuganov turned the event into a campaign rally, urging his supporters to vote for the Communists in national parliamentary elections on Dec. 4.

(This version CORRECTS Corrects date of election in last paragraph.)