Victory day: What did Putin say in his speech today

Victory day: What did Putin say in his speech today
Putin says Nato is an ‘obvious threat’ in WWII parade speech

As Russia and other former Soviet regions mark Victory Day, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has given a speech defending his invasion of Ukraine.

Victory Day is a holiday celebrated every year on 9 May to mark the Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

It is celebrated in Russia and some other former Soviet states, including Ukraine which is currently under siege from Russian forces trying to take the eastern Ukrainian Donbas region.

Celebrations to mark the day are held annually across Russia, with a large military parade taking place in Red Square in Moscow.

In Putin’s address, he claimed that Russian troops are “fighting for the motherland, its future” and said the “special military operation” was necessary, the “right decision” and one that had been provoked by the West.

He also claimed that the West is preparing for an “invasion of our land” and called Nato “an obvious threat”.

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“The death of every soldier and officer is painful for us,” Putin told audiences, before saying that the state would do “everything” it could to look after bereaved families.

In contrast to the celebrations taking place across Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky released a video message to mark the occasion.

He gave a rousing speech captured while walking down a Ukrainian street blocked with military equipment.

In the video, Zelensky said: “Today we celebrate Victory Day over Nazism. We are proud of our ancestors who together with other nations in the anti-Hitler coalition defeated Nazism.

“And we will not allow anyone to annex this victory. We will not allow it to be appropriated.”

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