Macron leads V-E Day commemorations in the shadow of war in Europe

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French President Emmanuel Macron has presided over ceremonies marking the anniversary of the victory of the Allied forces over Nazi Germany on the Champs-Elysées, a day after being sworn in for a second term in office.

Macron met with World War II veterans at a military ceremony under the Arc de Triomphe this Sunday, marking the 8 May 1945 when victory in Europe was declared by Allied forces.

This is the first time in two years that the Champs-Elysées ceremony has been open to the public due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Macron laid a wreath of flowers at the foot of the statue of General de Gaulle on the Place Clémenceau where he met with members of De Gaulle's family.

After walking up the Champs-Elysées accompanied by a large escort of the Republican Guard, Macron gave a review of the troops, and rekindled the eternal flame on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

During the ceremony, Macron was accompanied by Prime Minister, Jean Castex and the Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly.

The commemoration was all the more poignant this year as war has returned to European soil following Russia's invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

V-E Day is also celebrated by former Allies - including Ukraine and Russia - with Moscow marking the occasion on 9 May to stir up patriotic fervour, underlining the sacrifice of 27 million Soviet lives in defeating the Nazi regime.

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