Moscow, May 9 (EFE).- Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that a ‘real war’ had been unleashed on Russia at a military parade on Tuesday in Moscow’s Red Square to mark the 78th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany.
“A real war has once again been waged against our homeland,” the Russian president said in his Victory Day address to the nation.
“But we rejected international terrorism, we will also protect the inhabitants of Donbas, we will guarantee our security,” he added.
“Today, civilization is once again at a decisive turning point,” Putin told some 10,000 soldiers taking part in the annual parade, including units fighting in the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began over a year ago.
Putin stressed that for Russia, there are no hostile peoples “neither in the West nor in the East,” adding that Moscow wants a “free, stable and peaceful future.”
At the same time, he accused the West of forgetting what happened when Nazi Germany waged a war in 1939 to pursue world dominance.
“We believe that any ideology of superiority is inherently disgusting, criminal and deadly.
“However, Western globalist elites still talk about their exclusivity, affect people and divide society, cause conflicts and bloody upheavals, sow hatred, Russophobia, aggressive nationalism, destroy and traditional family values.”
Putin also observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims of what Russians call the Great Patriotic War, during which more than 26 million citizens of the Soviet Union died, 8 million of them soldiers, according to official figures.
While Western leaders and other renowned heads of state were absent, the presidents of Belarus — Russia’s main ally in the ongoing war in Ukraine —Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan were among those who attended the parade.
The Kremlin pointed out that the authorities had decided to cancel several public events related to the anniversary, such as the so-called Immortal Regiment march, due to the “terrorist acts” by Kyiv.
In an unprecedented move, the Red Square was closed for two weeks, even before what appeared to be a drone attack on the Kremlin last week, which Moscow blamed on Kyiv.
More than 20 cities in the European part of Russia, including the annexed Crimea peninsula, canceled the parade, while the main cities in the Ural Mountains and Siberia maintained muted celebrations.
The first Victory Day parade was celebrated in 1945 after the defeat of Germany in WWII, although it was not until 1995 that the Kremlin decided by law to celebrate it annually. EFE