The parade commemorating the 78th anniversary of victory in the ‘Great Patriotic War’ has concluded in Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a solemn speech and congratulated Russians on the holiday. In his speech, Putin stated that a new war has been unleashed against Russia, and the future of the nation depends on the participants of the special military operation. He emphasised that Russia wants to see a peaceful and stable future. For Russia, ‘there are no unfriendly peoples in the West or the East’.
At the beginning of his speech, the president mentioned the bravery and valour of the ancestors, after which, as in the previous year, he placed today’s participants of the special military operation in Ukraine alongside them.
Putin stated that civilization is one more time at a turning point. ‘A real war has been unleashed against our Motherland once again. But we have repelled international terrorism, will protect the residents of Donbas, and ensure our security,’ he said.
‘Any “ideology of superiority” is repugnant and unacceptable’, said the president, but the West claims that it is exceptional, ‘pitting people against each other and provoking bloody conflicts’. According to him, the elites of Western countries today are ‘sowing Russophobia and aggressive nationalism’. It is the Western countries that provoke coups and conflicts, destroying traditions in order to ‘continue dictating their rules, which essentially amount to a system of plunder and violence’.
‘Their aim, and there’s nothing new here, is to achieve the disintegration and destruction of our country, to erase the outcomes of the Second World War, and to finally break the system of global security and international law’, Putin emphasised.
Putin also accused the West of destroying traditional family values and eroding the very essence of what makes us human. According to him, the West engages in these subversive actions with a singular objective in mind: to impose its will and dominance upon all nations and peoples across the globe.
In his speech, he also mentioned Ukraine. ‘Ambition, arrogance, and permissiveness inevitably lead to tragedies’, Putin noted. These factors have become the cause of the catastrophe for the Ukrainian people, who, in Putin’s view, have become ‘hostages of the coup and the criminal regime that has formed on its basis under the control of its Western masters’.
The contribution of all the peoples of the Soviet Union to the joint victory remains in memory, and the arrival of the leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries for the May 9 celebrations demonstrates their respect for the deeds of their ancestors, Putin stated. He stressed that Russia’s opponents have forgotten who defeated ‘the monstrous global evil in the Great Patriotic War’.
After a minute of silence, the president said that Russia remains true to the legacy of its ancestors and that the country is proud of those who are in the special operation zone and fighting on the front lines. ‘Those who, under fire, support the front and save the wounded, there is no more important task now than your combat work’, he stated.
‘Today, the country’s security rests on you; the future of our state and our people depends on you. You are honourably fulfilling your military duty, fighting for Russia. Behind you are your families, children, and friends. They are waiting for you’, he said.
Putin made sure to acknowledge China’s significant role in combatting Japanese militarism during World War Two. This recognition is undoubtedly linked to the burgeoning alliance between Russia and China, as both nations have joined forces to create a more just and multipolar world order, which Putin also addressed. The mention of China in Putin’s speech underlines the importance of this strategic alliance, which aims to reshape the global balance of power and foster increased cooperation between the two countries.
At the end of his speech, the president mentioned the Minin and Pozharsky militia, which fought against the Polish-Lithuanian occupation in the seventeenth century. He also mentioned Prince Yuri Dolgoruky, the founder of Moscow; Prince Dmitry Donskoy, the leader of the united Russian forces that defeated the Mongols in 1380; the first tsar of the Russian Empire, Peter the Great; military leader Mikhail Kutuzov, who defeated Napoleon in 1812, as well as the parades of 1941 and 1945. The president greeted the servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces, Donetsk and Lugansk corps, volunteers, law enforcement officers, and other agencies.
‘During the years of the Great Patriotic War, our heroic ancestors proved that there is nothing stronger, more powerful, and more reliable than our unity. There is nothing in the world stronger than our love for the Motherland. For Russia! For our brave armed forces! For victory!’ the president concluded. The speech ended with a triple ‘Hurrah!’
This year’s May 9 parade was marked by the drone strikes threatened by the Ukrainian state and military leadership. Nevertheless, heads of state from seven post-Soviet countries participated: Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan from Armenia, President Alexander Lukashenko from Belarus, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev from Uzbekistan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev from Kazakhstan, President Sadyr Japarov from Kyrgyzstan, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov from Turkmenistan, and President Emomali Rahmon from Tajikistan. Also present were the highest representatives of the Russia-recognised but internationally unrecognised states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
After the parade, all visiting heads of state and government laid flowers and wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin Wall.