Happy New Year from Red Square, 2013

Cold or not, Moscow residents every year follow the tradition of a concert and ice skating on Red Square followed by a brief speech from the Russian president and ending with a spectacular fireworks show and this New Year celebration was no different.

Mr. Putin’s address is an annual tradition for Russian leaders dating back to Soviet times and in the final minutes of 2012 he urged Russians to strive for national unity in order to make Russia strong and indestructible.

Just moments after President Vladimir Putin’s brief nationwide holiday address had been completed, the clocks on the Saviour Tower at Red Square chimed at midnight, accompanied by a countdown from the crowd.

So, happy new year. May you enjoy prosperity and peace along with good health and love. We leave this report with a final look at some of the merriment that took place on Red Square.