Russians celebrated World War II Victory Day as Moscow troops fight on in Ukraine, with President Vladimir Putin’s call for “victory” in the ongoing war. Victory Day is marked to commemorate the sacrifices made by the Soviet Union during the “Great Patriotic War” of 1941-45. Records have revealed that around 27 million citizens died.
During the speech, Putin slammed the West, saying that they have “forgotten who defeated the monstrous global evil and the Western elites talk about their exclusivity, playoff people and provoke bloody conflicts, sow Russophobia and aggressive nationalism”.
The parade and the speech were aimed at the West, but something else grabbed the headlines globally — a ‘lonely’ tank. The pared-down parade showcased military hardware, but there was no aviation and a single T-34 tank took part. Some users on social media called it “lonely” tank.
Army personnel were in ceremonial uniforms and marched through Red Square to the soundtrack of a military brass band. After Putin’s speech, a band struck up and the cannon fired a salute. Armoured vehicles and nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles followed later.
The West, which claims that Russia is running out of arms and ammunition, mocked Putin for the scaled-back parade, but some experts stated that Russia can’t spare tanks and planes for their parade amid the invasion, which started last year on February 24.
Russia has often shown confidence over the victory, and Putin also said that the future of the country “rests on” soldiers fighting in Ukraine.
He further said that the world is at a “turning point”, and a “war” was unleashed on Russia. He added: “Today civilisation is again at a decisive turning point. A war has been unleashed against our motherland.” He called for Russia to be victorious: “For Russia, for our armed forces, for victory! Hurrah!”
He said, “I am convinced that the experience of solidarity and partnership during the years of struggle against a common threat is a support right now when the world is moving towards multipolarity.”
He added that the “West has forgotten who defeated the monstrous global evil and the Western elites talk about their exclusivity, playoff people and provoke bloody conflicts, sow Russophobia and aggressive nationalism”.
(With inputs from agencies)
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