The annual HeliRussia trade fair, which is held under the auspices of Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, took place at the Crocus Expo exhibition centre in Moscow on 19th-21st May 2022 for the 15th time – a minor jubilee. In better days the event, which is traditionally held at this venue, was billed as Europe’s largest helicopter industry exhibition; however, HeliRussia-2022 was held on an unusually modest scale, occupying just one hall instead of the normal two. While the COVID-2019 pandemic is on the retreat, due to political developments all major foreign participants chose to stay away. Of the 108 participants only seven were non-Russian, and none of these were helicopter manufacturers.
It is now a well-established tradition that the annual 9th May military parade held in Moscow’s Red Square to celebrate the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany includes an aviation component. The first such flypast was in 1995, but since 2005 it has become annual – weather permitting, of course. In recent years the number of participating aircraft equals the number of years that have passed since the war; this year, the 77th anniversary Victory Day flypast was to include 77 assorted aircraft – 15 helicopters and 62 fixed-wing aircraft.
The 13th annual HeliRussia trade fair took place at the Crocus Expo exhibition centre in Moscow on 15th-17th September 2020. Since 2008 the event, which is held under the auspices of Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (and has grown into Europe’s largest helicopter industry exhibition over a ten-year period), was traditionally held at this venue in May; in 2020, however, the COVID-2019 pandemic has caused it to be postponed until autumn. Fortunately by September the epidemiological situation had improved sufficiently for the event to go ahead as planned. HeliRussia-2020 featured foreign participants from 12 countries, even though some of the traditional participants, such as Leonardo of Italy, chose to stay away for various reasons – mainly due to closed borders.
On 23rd-29th August 2020 the town of Kubinka west of Moscow hosted the ‘Army-2020’ International Military-Technical Forum. The event, which is held under the auspices of Russia’s Ministry of Defence and the Rosoboroneksport (Russian Defence Export) arms trading agency, is now in its sixth edition, having been held annually since 2015, and has earned a solid reputation as both a defence trade fair and an exciting show. The first three days are trade days when negotiations are held and deals are inked, while on the other four days the event is open to the general public.
After a long break since 1995 when the 50th anniversary of VE-Day was celebrated, the Russian Air Force’s participation in the traditional Victory Day military parades in Moscow’s Red Square resumed in 2008. This year the Air Force was involved on a much larger scale than previously, putting up 69 assorted fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.