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Parade on Czechoslovak centenary to involve over 2,000 troops

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Prague, May 5 (CTK) – About 2,200 marching soldiers and over 200 pieces of equipment will take part in the great military parade that will be held in Prague on October 28 to mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia, Czech deputy chief-of-staff Jiri Baloun has told CTK.

The parade will be held on the Evropska Avenue in the northwestern part of the city.

It will be larger than the previous parade held ten years ago. Apart from soldiers, it is to include firefighters, police, rescuers and newly also customs officers.

Representatives of Slovakia and the countries which were among the first to support the birth of Czechoslovakia in 1918, i.e. the USA, Britain, France and Italy, are to join the event, Baloun said.

Over 4,000 people will join the parade as its organisers or protagonists, including 2,200 marching troops and further 500 troops driving a total of about 200 vehicles, a half of which will be military ones.

The military will also present its heavy equipment including tanks and armoured carriers, and the flights of military aircraft including the Gripen supersonic planes, the Czech-made L-159s combat planes and helicopters.

Special equipment will also be shown by the firefighters.

Another 1,500 people will be charged with organising the event, Baloun said.

The parade will include soldiers from Slovakia, while Czech soldiers will take part in several events commemorating the Czechoslovak anniversary in Slovakia.

Officers, including chiefs-of-staff, from Slovakia, as well as the USA, Britain, France and Italy have been invited, and leading politicians from these countries are expected to arrive.

The parade will last about one hour. The costs will be somewhat higher than in 2008 when they reached 15 million crowns, Baloun said.

“The real costs are a matter for discussion, because during the parade, those involved fulfil a lot of task which they would otherwise have to fulfil elsewhere,” he said.

The military will also hold other events in Prague to mark the late October anniversary of the birth of Czechoslovakia, a joint state of Czechs and Slovaks which arose as a successor to the collapsing Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of WW1 and which split into two independent states on January 1, 1993.

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