Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Victory Day speech in the Red Square Tuesday said that the world has arrived at a “decisive turning point” and that a “real war has been initiated against his motherland”.
Victory Day is celebrated when the former USSR declared victory over Nazi forces in World War II.
70-year-old President warmly welcomed the Russian soldiers who came during the parade.
Putin, in his Victory Day speech in Red Square, said: “Russia honours the sacrifice of the allied armies of the United States, the United Kingdom, and China in World War II.”
“The memory of our defenders of the motherland is sacred in our hearts,” said Putin while stating further that “we honour members of the resistance who fought Nazis, soldiers of allied armies of the US, Britain, and other countries. We remember and honour the memory of Chinese soldiers in their battle against Japanese militarism.”
He also underlined the experience of solidarity as a foundation for building a “multi-polar world.”
“I am convinced that the experience of solidarity and partnership in the days of the struggle against a common threat is our heritage and a reliable base of support in our movement towards a multi polar world based on trust and indivisible security, equal opportunities for unique and free development for all nations in the world,” said long-standing Russian President.
Putin concluded his speech by saying: “To Russia! To our brave armed forces! To Victory!”
At first, only Kyrgyz President Sadyr Zhaparov was scheduled to participate in the victory day celebrations but later on Monday, a confirmation came forward about heads of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan also attended the commemoration in Moscow.
State television broadcast pictures of tanks and nuclear-capable strategic ballistic missiles parked on the red square, where dignitaries assembled under sunny skies for the parade. Ranks of soldiers in dress uniforms saluted.
Attacks during Victory Day parade
Russian military fired cruise missiles that exploded in the air over Kyiv with Ukraine saying it has shot 23 to 25 missiles. There were casualties reported as a result.
The attack was the second night in a row of major Russian air strikes and the fifth so far this month.
Ukraine’s air force said on its Telegram: “Overnight into the ‘sacred’ May 9, [they] launched an attack on the territory of Ukraine.”
Sergei Popko, head of the Kyiv city military administration, said: “The Russians were trying to kill civilians. As at the front, the plans of the aggressor failed.”
“Debris fell on a house in the Holosiivskyi district in the southwest of Kyiv but caused little damage. Debris lay in a road in the often-targeted Shevchenkivskyi district of central Kyiv,” stated Kyiv Mayor Vitalii Klitschko.
Russia denied attacking civilians and maintained that the strikes were aimed to reduce the Ukrainian ability to fight.
Kyiv symbolised its break from Moscow this year by formally shifting its observance of Victory Day to May 8 in line with its European allies; on May 9 it is marking Europe Day, celebrating the founding of the body that became the European Union.
It hosted EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who tweeted a picture of herself arriving at Kyiv station by train.
She wrote on Twitter: “Good to be back in Kyiv. Where the values we hold dear are defended every day.”
She called it “such a fitting place to celebrate the day of Europe.”