Russia and many other post-USSR countries traditionally hold Victory Day parades on May 9. May 9, 2022 marked the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
This year, the parade in Moscow was marked by the pivotal address of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He outlined the tough position of the Russian Federation on key issues of international situation, including Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. He labeled NATO as a hostile organization, and modern Western ideology as unacceptable. His speech describes the current conflict as a confrontation of worldviews. He debarred the West the right to impose its values.
Putin spoke not only as the leader of the Russian Federation, but as one of the leaders of the non-Western but free world.
Dear citizens of Russia, dear veterans, fellow soldiers and sailors, sergeants and warrant officers, michmen and praporshchiks, fellow officers, generals and admirals.
I congratulate you on the great Victory Day!
The defense of the Motherland, when its fate is decided, has always been sacred. With such feelings of genuine patriotism, the fighters of Minin and Pozharsky rose up for the homeland, went on the attack on the Borodino field, fought with the enemy near Moscow and Leningrad, Kiev and Minsk, Stalingrad and Kursk, Sevastopol and Kharkov. And now these days You are fighting for our people in the Donbas, for the security of our Motherland, Russia.
May 9, 1945 is forever inscribed in world history as the triumph of our united Soviet people, its unity and spiritual power, unprecedented feats at the front and in the rear. Victory Day is close and dear to each of us. There is no family in Russia that has not been scorched by the Great Patriotic War. The memory of it does not fade.
On this day, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the heroes of the Great Patriotic march in the endless stream of the Immortal Regiment. They carry photos of their relatives, dead soldiers who have remained young forever, and veterans who have already left us.
We are proud of the unconquered valiant generation of winners, that we are their heirs. And it is our duty to preserve the memory of those who crushed Nazism, who bequeathed us to be vigilant and do everything so that the horror of a global war does not repeat.
And therefore, despite all the differences in international relations, Russia has always advocated the creation of a system of equal and indivisible security. A system that is vital to the entire international community.
In December last year, we proposed to conclude an agreement on security guarantees. Russia called on the West to have an honest dialogue, search for reasonable compromise solutions, and take into account each other’s interests.
All in vain. The NATO countries did not want to hear us. And this means that in fact they had completely different plans. And we saw it.
Preparations were openly underway for another punitive operation in the Donbas, an invasion of our historical lands, including Crimea. Kiev also announced the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons. The NATO bloc has begun active military development of the territories adjacent to us.
Thus, an absolutely unacceptable threat to us has been systematically increased directly at our borders. There was every indication that a clash with neo-Nazis, Banderites, on whom the United States and their junior partners had bet, would be inevitable.
I repeat, we have seen how the military infrastructure was unfolding, how hundreds of foreign advisers were deployed, and regular deliveries of the most modern weapons from NATO countries were underway. The danger was growing every day.
Russia has given a preemptive response to aggression. It was a forced timely and the only correct decision. The decision of a sovereign strong independent country.
The United States of America, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union, began talking about its exclusivity, thereby humiliating not only the whole world, but also its satellites, which have to pretend that they do not notice anything, and submissively swallow it all.
But we are a different country. Russia has a different character. We will never give up our love for the Motherland, our faith and traditional values, the customs of our ancestors, and respect for all peoples and cultures. And the West apparently decided to cancel these millennial values.
Such moral degradation became the basis of cynical falsifications of the history of the Second World War, inciting Russophobia, praising traitors, mocking the memory of victims, crossing out the courage of those who won and endured victory.
We know that American veterans who wanted to come to the parade in Moscow were actually banned from doing so. But I want them to know that we are proud of your feats, your contribution to the common victory. We honor all the soldiers of the Allied armies: Americans, British, French, resistance members, brave soldiers and guerrillas of China. All those who defeated Nazism and militarism.
Today, the Donbass militias, together with the soldiers of the Russian Army, are fighting on their own land, where the vigilantes of Svyatoslav and Vladimir Monomakh, the soldiers of Rumyantsev and Potemkin, Suvorov and Brusilov smashed the enemy; where the heroes of the Great Patriotic War Nikolai Vatutin, Sidor Kovpak, Lyudmila Pavlichenko fight to the bitter end.
I am now addressing our Armed Forces and the Donbass militia. You are fighting for the Motherland, for its future, so that no one forgets the lessons of the Second World War, so that there is no place for executioners, punishers and Nazis in the world.
Today we bow our heads to the bright memory of all whose lives were taken away by the Great Patriotic War. To the memory of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, relatives, friends.
We bow our heads to the memory of the martyrs in Odessa, burned alive in the House of Trade Unions in May 2014. To the memory of the elderly, women and children in Donbass, civilians who died from ruthless shelling, barbaric strikes of neo-Nazis. We bow our heads to our comrades-in-arms who died a brave death in a righteous battle for Russia.
The death of each of our soldiers and officers is a grief for all of us and an irreparable loss for relatives and friends. The state, regions, enterprises, public organizations will do everything to take care of such families and help them. We will provide special support to the children of the dead and wounded comrades. The presidential decree on this was signed today.
I wish a fast recovery to the wounded soldiers and officers. And I thank the doctors, paramedics, nurses, medical staff of military hospitals for their selfless work. I bow low to you for indefatigably fighting for every life often under fire on the front line.
Now soldiers and officers from many regions of our vast Motherland are standing shoulder to shoulder here on the Red Square. Including those who arrived directly from Donbass, directly from the combat zone.
We remember how Russia’s enemies tried to use gangs of international terrorists against us, sought to sow national and religious enmity in order to weaken and split us from within. It didn’t work out.
Today, our fighters of different nationalities are fighting together, covering each other from bullets and shrapnel like brothers. And this is the strength of Russia, the great indestructible force of our united multinational people.
Today You are defending what our fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers fought for. For them, the highest meaning of life has always been the well-being and security of the Motherland. And for us, their heirs, loyalty to the motherland is the main value, a reliable support for Russia’s independence.
Those who crushed Nazism during the Great Patriotic War showed us an example of heroism for all time. This is the generation of winners and we will always look up to them.
Glory to our valiant Armed Forces!
For the Victory!