The following speech was given by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on 9th May 2022 during the annual Victory Parade in Moscow, commemorating the sacrifices of the Soviet people in the struggle against fascism during the Second World War.
“Defence of the Motherland when its fate was at stake was always sacred. This is the feeling of true patriotism that led the servicemen of Minin and Pozharsky on the battlefield near Moscow and Leningrad, battling the enemy near Kiev, Minsk, Stalingrad, Kursk, Kharkov and Sevastopol.
And today, these days, you are fighting for our people in Donbass, for the security of our Motherland, Russia.
9th May 1945 has forever been written into world history as the triumph of our united Soviet people, its unity and its spiritual power, its exemplary conduct on the battlefield and in the rear.
This is dear to all our citizens and there isn’t a family in Russia that has not felt the suffering of the Great Patriotic War, and its memory lives forever.
Today, to the endless column of the immortal regiment of the grandchildren and children of those who have remained forever young, and the veterans who have left us; we are proud of the undefeated spirit of the victors, and the fact that we are their heirs, and that it is our duty to defend the memory of those who defeated Nazism, who bequeathed to us the responsibility to be watchful and be sure the global war is not repeated again.
And despite all the differences in international relations Russia has always stood in favour of indivisible security, creating a system of such security that is so necessary to the world community.
Last December we proposed a treaty on the guarantees of security. Russia called on the west for an honest dialogue, reasonable compromise and solutions in the interests of each other.
But that was in vain – the Nato countries did not want to hear us, and that means that in fact, they had very different plans, and we could see that.
They openly were preparing for yet another punitive operation in Donbass, for an invasion of our historic lands, including Crimea.
In Kiev, they were talking about the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons. The Nato bloc started actively developing territories adjacent to us, and therefore, in a planned way, were creating an absolutely unacceptable threat immediately next to our borders.
Everything pointed towards a collision with the Nazis and Banderites – that was inevitable and that was supported by the west.
We could see how military infrastructure was being developed, how hundreds of foreign advisors were at work, regular supplies of the most modern weapons from Nato; danger was increasing every day.
Russia repelled this aggression in a preventative way – this was the only correct decision – the decision of a sovereign, independent and powerful nation.
The United States, especially after the fall of the Soviet Union, started speaking about their exclusivity, their exclusive status, humiliating not only the whole world but its own satellites, who have to pretend they don’t notice, and lap it up.
But we are a different country. Russia has a different character.
We shall never give up our love for our Motherland, our faith and our traditional values, the customs of our forebears, and respect for all nations and cultures.
In the west, these thousands of years old values have been ‘cancelled’ – this moral degradation is at the basis of the cynical falsification of the history of World War 2 – a rampant Russophobia, praising of traitors and a mockery of the memory of victims and those who built victory.
We know that American veterans who wanted to attend the parade in Moscow were banned from doing so, but I want them to know, we are proud of your achievements, of your exploits and your contribution to our common victory.
We honour all members of the allied armies, Americans, French, British, the courageous members of the resistance, and Chinese soldiers who all have contributed to the defeat of Nazism and imperialism.
Today the soldiers of Donbass, together with the Russian soldiers are fighting on the battlefield where the servicemen of Suvorov and Brasilov, Bratislav and the many, many heroes of the Russian country.
I address the servicemen of Donbass – You are fighting for the Motherland, for its future, so that lessons of World War 2 are not forgotten, so there is no place in history for the punitive divisions of the Nazis.
We bow our heads to all those who lost their lives in the Second World War, for the memory of the sons and daughters and fathers and mothers, grandparents, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, friends and families.
We bow our heads to the memory of the martyrs of Odessa, who were burned alive in May 2014, we bow before the memory of the elderly, women and children of Donbass, civilians who died because of the barbaric assaults by neo-Nazis.
We bow our heads before the memory of the comrades in arms who fell heroically in the righteous fight for Russia.
….1 Minute silence…..
Dear comrades, the death of each soldier and officer is a tragedy for all of us and is a loss for their loved ones and families.
The state enterprises and non-government organisations will do everything to surround these families with care, to help them, and we shall give special support to the children of our fallen comrades.
There is a presidential decree about this, and that has been signed today.
I wish speedy recovery to those wounded, and I thank the doctors, nurses and medical personnel in field hospitals for their selfless work.
I bow my head to you for saving every life, for struggling under fire on the battlefield without thinking of yourself.
Dear comrades, here and now on the Red Square, shoulder to shoulder, as soldiers and officers, from many regions of our enormous country, including those who have straight from Donbass, immediately from the theatre of war, we remember how our enemies tried to use international terrorism against us, and to sow religious hatred to split us from within, to weaken us. They were not successful.
Today, our soldiers of various ethnic origin and nationality are standing shoulder to shoulder and covering each other against the shelling.
And this is the undefeatable strength of our united nation today – You are defending that which our fathers and grandfathers were fighting for in the greatest sense, the security of our Motherland. And for us, their heirs, loyalty to the Motherland is the main value, and the reliable foundation of Russia’s indivisibilty.
Those who defeated the Nazis showed us an example of heroism for all eternity.
This was a generation of victors, and we shall always look up to them.
Glory to our great armed forces for Russia, for victory.”
Transcribed by Counter-Prop from RT and CNN translations, 9th May 2022