MOSCOW – [FRN] – On May 9th, Putin made an historic speech before the military parade in Moscow Red Square on the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the Soviet victory against the Nazis in World War II (known in Russia as the Great War for the Homeland, or the Great Patriotic War).
“Our duty is to preserve the memory of the courage of the soldiers who fought against Nazism,” said the Russian leader.
“Today they have tried to erase the feat of the people who saved Europe and the world from slavery, extermination, and the horrors of the Holocaust, and have attempted to distort the events of war, to forge the authenticity of heroes, to invent, to rewrite, and to distort history. We will never allow that to happen,” Putin said.
“They are trying to erase the feat of the Soviet people, who saved the world from slavery and extermination, and distort history,” he continued.
The Russian president said that behind the new threats in the contemporary world, the old patterns of previous wars should be observed.
According to him, “the tragedies of the two world wars […] do not allow us to ignore them”.
“Behind the new threats can be seen horrible old patterns, selfishness and intolerance, aggressive nationalism, pretensions to exclusivity, we understand the gravity of these threats,” said the president.
“A war is a challenge to one’s life […] Peace is very fragile,” Putin emphasized.
“Russia is open to dialogue on all issues of global security, it is ready for a constructive and equal partnership in the name of harmony, peace and progress of the planet,” he said.
Traditionally, Red Square hosts a grand parade involving more than 55,000 people and 1,200 units of military equipment. This act is added to other festivities that take place in dozens of Russian cities on this day.
The largest and most promoted Victory Day events falls every fifth year, so planners and organizers are already in preparation for the 75th anniversary which will be held in 2020. Over 200,000 people are expected to attend that in person.