Romania, a NATO member, is reversing years of military neglect, spurred by fears that it could end up with front-row seats for a Transnistrian replay of last year's events in Ukraine and Crimea.
Critics of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro have decried the revival of the territorial claim as a farce that is meant to distract Venezuelans from their country’s economic crisis.
The carefully stage-managed patriotic display included Putin singing the national anthem as some in the crowd enthusiastically chanted his name.
In a documentary trailer, Putin speaks of a secret meeting on February 22 in which he told security services to "begin the work to bring Crimea back into Russia."
With a branch of Russia's parliament voting overwhelmingly to annex the Ukrainian peninsula, Crimea is looking pretty solidly Russian.