The annual Victory Day Parade took place in Moscow’s Red Square, where Vladimir Putin spoke about the war in Ukraine
ICBM launchers, huge tanks and thousands of military personnel were on display in Moscow’s Red Square today (9 May) as Russia marked its Victory Day.
The annual event marking the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 has grown to unprecedented levels under the patriotic presidency of Vladimir Putin, and this year it has acquired additional prominence following his brutal invasion of Ukraine.
In a speech to his ministers and thousands of soldiers, Putin blamed the West and NATO for the situation in Ukraine and claimed – without citing any evidence – that the invasion was a “pre-emptive strike” in the face of a planned invasion of Russian land.
Addressing the phalanxes of Russia’s elite troops, he said the campaign in Ukraine was necessary to avert “a threat which was absolutely unacceptable to us (which was) methodically created next to our borders”.
“The danger grew day by day,” he claimed, adding that “Russia responded to aggression preemptively” in a “forced, timely and only right decision of a sovereign, powerful and independent country.”
Victory Day parades were held in 28 Russian cities, attended by 65,000 people, 2,400 items of military equipment and more than 400 aircraft.