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.
\u201cGlory to our armed forces, hooray to Russia\u201d\n\nTroops in Red Square cheer Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Moscow Victory Day Parade, Russia\u2019s national anthem is played while cannons are fired\n\nhttps://bbc.in/3FtB65p\u00a0pic.twitter.com/BvDFxzAIa4
“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.
President of #Ukraine @ZelenskyyUa: \u201cWe won then. We will win now, too! And Khreshchatyk will see the parade of victory \u2013 the victory of Ukraine. Glory to Ukraine!\u201dpic.twitter.com/339L7s6Faz
— MFA of Ukraine \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@MFA of Ukraine \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6)
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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