Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday at Moscow’s Red Square Victory Day parade that the world was at a “turning point” and claimed a “war” had been unleashed against Russia.
He vowed victory and said Russia’s future “rests on” its soldiers fighting in Ukraine.
The traditional Soviet-style event celebrating Moscow’s victory over the Nazis took place amid security fears, 15 months into Russia’s Ukraine offensive.
“Today civilisation is again at a decisive turning point,” Putin said at the parade, which included elderly veterans and soldiers from Russia’s Ukraine campaign.
“A war has been unleashed against our motherland,” he claimed. He called for Russia to be victorious: “For Russia, for our armed forces, for victory! Hurrah!”
The Russian leader has increasingly portrayed the campaign in Ukraine as an existential conflict, which he says the West has escalated by supporting the Ukrainian government.
Putin told soldiers taking part in Moscow’s Ukraine campaign, several hundreds of whom were present at the Red Square parade, that “the whole country is with you.” “There is nothing more important now than your combat effort,” he said.—AFP