We are so near that if ever you call us from the mountain tops we will appear at your side.'
--Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, during his visit to India in December 1955.
When it comes to ties, India and the former Soviet Union go back to pre-Independence days, with Moscow recognising India as a nation on April 13, 1947, months before the official declaration of independence of India and its partition on August 15 that year.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, India and the Russian Federation continued to build on the historical ties and can proudly proclaim that their friendship has stood the test of time.
Perhaps in order to honour this long-standing relationship, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be the chief guest at this year's Republic Day celebrations.
Presenting a pictorial flashback of India's relationship with the Soviet Union and subsequently, the Russian Federation.
Text: Ramananda Sengupta
Photograph: The opening ceremony of the Friendship Games held at the Central Lenin Stadium, Moscow, August 1984. Note the backdrop symbolising India-Soviet friendship. Photograph: Courtesy and copyright the Russian News and Information Agency, RIA Novosti. Used with permission.
Also see: Why Russia and India matter to each other