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Region: Greater Middle East

Росси́я сего́дня - Rossiya Segodnya - Russia Today
President Vladimir Putin addresses the world on Victory Day
May 10, 2020

Federal City of Moscow

Yesterday, Russia celebrated its 75th Victory Day with a massive parade in Moscow. The parade included over 80,000 soldiers and was witnessed by millions of Russians across the country. Following the parade, marking the 75th anniversary of the triumph over Germany and Japan, President Putin addressed the Federation, and the World, with a short yet stirring speech. Below is a transcript of the speech in full.

Fellow citizens of Russia, dearest veterans, distinguished guests, comrade soldiers and seamen.

I congratulate you all on the 75th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War! Today, when we mark this sacred anniversary, we once again appreciate the enormous scale of victory over Nazism. We are proud that it was our own fathers and grandfathers who succeeded in prevailing against that dark force. Hitler's reckless adventure became a tough lesson for the entire world. At that time, in the 1930s, the enlightened Europe failed to see the deadly threat in the Nazi ideology. Today, seventy-five years later, the history calls again to our wisdom and vigilance. We must not forget that the ideas of racial supremacy and exclusiveness had provoked the bloodiest war ever. The war affected almost 80 percent of the world population. Many European nations were enslaved and occupied. Russia bore the brunt of the enemy's attacks. The elite Nazi forces were brought to bear on it. All their military power was concentrated against it. And all major decisive battles of World War II, in terms of military power and equipment involved, had been waged there. And it is no surprise that it was us, the invincible Russian people that, by taking Berlin in a crushing attack, delivered the final blow to Hitler's Germany finishing the war. Our entire multi-ethnic nation rose to fight for our Motherland’s freedom. Everyone bore the severe burden of the war. Together, our people made an immortal exploit to save the country. They predetermined the outcome of World War II. They liberated European nations from the Nazis. Veterans of the Great Patriotic War, wherever they live today, should know that here, in Russia, we highly value their fortitude, courage and dedication to frontline brotherhood.

Dear friends, the great victory will always remain a heroic pinnacle in the history of our country. But we also pay tribute to our former allies in the coalition against Hitler and his evil ideal. We are grateful to the people of Britain, of the United Provinces and of the Confederacy for their contribution to the victory. We are thankful to the partisans of various countries who selflessly fought the enemy as guerrillas and members of the underground resistance, including in Germany itself. We remember the historical meeting on the Elbe, and the trust and unity that became our common legacy and an example of unification of peoples – for the sake of peace and stability. It is precisely these values that became the foundation of the post-war world order. The United Nations came into existence. And the system of the modern international law has emerged. These institutions have proved in practice their effectiveness in resolving disputes and conflicts.

However, in the last decades, the basic principles of international cooperation have come to be increasingly ignored. These are the principles that have been hard won by mankind as a result of the ordeal of the war. We saw attempts to establish a unipolar world. We see the strong-arm block thinking gaining momentum. All that undermines sustainable global development. The creation of a system of equal security for all states should become our common task. Such system should be an adequate match to modern threats, and it should rest on a regional and global non-block basis. Only then will we be able to ensure peace and tranquility on the planet.

Dear friends, today we salute all our foreign comrades while expressing a particular gratitude to the representatives of the countries that fought against Nazism and Japanese militarism. China was also the main front in the fight against militarism in Asia. Indian soldiers fought courageously against the Nazis as well. Serbian troops also offered strong and relentless resistance to the fascists. Throughout the war our country received strong support from Mongolia. These parade ranks include grandsons and great-grandsons of the war generation. The Victory Day is our common holiday. The Great Patriotic War was in fact the battle for the future of the entire humanity. Our fathers and grandfathers lived through unbearable sufferings, hardships and losses. They worked till exhaustion, at the limit of human capacity. They fought even unto death. They proved the example of honor and true patriotism. We pay tribute to all those who fought to the bitter for every street, every house and every frontier of our Motherland. We bow to those who perished in severe battles near Moscow and Stalingrad, at the Kursk Bulge and on the Dnieper. We bow to those who died from famine and cold in the unconquered Leningrad, to those who were tortured to death in concentration camps, in captivity and under occupation. We bow in loving memory of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, comrades-in-arms, relatives and friends – all those who never came back from war, all those who are no longer with us.

Dear veterans, you are the main heroes of the Great Victory Day. Your feat predestined peace and decent life for many generations. It made it possible for them to create and move forward fearlessly. And today your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren live up to the highest standards that you set. They work for the sake of their country's present and future. They serve their Fatherland with devotion. They respond to complex challenges of the time with honor. They guarantee the successful development, might and prosperity of our Motherland, our Russia!

Long live the victorious people!

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