According to the National Security Archives, the CIA used to spy on the Soviet Union in broad daylight at the nation's military parades.

The archives have collected declassified images that were taken at ceremonies marking national holidays like May Day and the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.

The parades were perfect settings for spies to collect intelligence on the Soviet Union, which was normally much more secretive about displaying its military capabilities.

The fascinating images provide insight about what type of information spies were collecting during the Cold War.

Scrooge missiles pass by an image of Vladimir Lenin, Friedrich Engels, and Karl Marx.

(National Security Archive)

The images were taken mostly of Soviet weapons, including missiles, self-propelled guns, and launching platforms.

Taken in 1960, this image from a May Day parade in Moscow is labeled "400-mm (?) self-propelled guns."

(National Security Archive)

Some images were labeled with the date, classification, and event.

Rocket launchers pass by an image of Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx.

(National Security Archive)

Each photo was also labeled with the latitude and longitude, and in some cases a vague description of the source.

SA-2 Guideline Rockets on transporter trailers, taken by a "Soviet source."

(National Security Archive)

This formerly confidential image shows truck-mounted rocket launchers.

The CIA assessed them to be 210-mm rocket launchers.

(National Security Archive)

Ground-launched surface-to-air missiles pass by as the band plays during the 1961 May Day parade.

The missile, identified as the V-301, had a maximum speed of Mach 2.5, according to the CIA.

(National Security Archive)

This photo was labeled, 'Exempt from automatic downgrading and declassification.'

The CIA identified this as the SS-9, a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

According to a CIA memo, the SS-9 premiered during a Moscow parade in 1967.

(National Security Archive)

This image from the 49th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution shows typical Soviet propaganda in Red Square.

The missile system shown here was assessed to be a new anti-ballistic missile capability.

(National Security Archive)

This photo appears to be mislabeled.

The ABM-1 Galosh was an anti-ballistic missile defense system arranged to protect Moscow.

ABM-X-2 is the nomenclature for project Aurora, an apparently unsuccessful attempt to expand the Galosh system.

Whoever was taking these photos seemed to have a front-row seat.

(National Security Archive)

Although these images were clearly geared towards the weapons systems, it's just as interesting to see the scenery and propaganda of the era.

The SCUD missile identified here was a mobile ballistic missile with a warhead that weighed up to 1,500 pounds.

(National Security Archive)

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