Putin defends invasion of Ukraine in Russian “Victory Day” speech

Putin defends invasion of Ukraine in Russian "Victory Day" speech thumbnail

Ukraine “preparing for everything,” ambassador says

Ukraine “preparing for everything” as Putin plots next move, ambassador says 06: 55

Russian President Vladimir Putin used a military parade marking the Soviet Union’s triumph over the Nazis during the Second World War to defend his invasion of Ukraine on Monday, casting it as a response to Western policies.

. Putin’s defense of Ukraine’s victory over the Nazis during the Second World War.

“Russia called on the West for an honest dialogue, to search for reasonable, compromise solutions, to take into account each other’s interests. All in vain. Putin stated that the NATO countries didn’t want to hear from us. This means they had completely different plans.” “The danger grew each day. Russia gave a preemptive rebuttal to aggression. It was a forced, necessary and right decision. The sovereign, independent, sovereign decision. “

Putin scolded the West for failing to roll back perceived NATO expansion and meet Russian demands for “security guarantees.” He claimed that he was forced to take military action because of Western nations’ plans for operations in Ukraine’s Donbas and Kyiv’s possible acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Victory Day Parade in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin watches a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2022. Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Pool via REUTERS

“The NATO bloc has begun active military development of the territories adjacent to us. Putin stated that a threat that was unacceptable to us had been systematically created at our borders.

“I think he is believing what he wants to believe — a slight shine of desperation,” U.K. defense secretary Ben Wallace said after Putin’s remarks. “But let’s be clear: NATO, Britain and eastern Europe are not planning to invade Russia, and never have. “

There was less military equipment on display during the “Victory Day” parade than in previous years, which Moscow had earlier indicated would be the case. However, many of the weapons systems used in Ukraine are represented as well as long-range nuclear weapons.

According to the official formation plan published in Krasnaya Zvezda military newspaper, 131 vehicles took part in the parade on Red Square. By comparison, last year’s parade saw around 190 vehicles, while the 75th anniversary marking the end of what is known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War was nearly double in size, with 234 vehicles on display.

Victory Day Parade in Moscow
A Russian BTR-82A armored personnel carrier and Yars intercontinental ballistic missile systems drive in Red Square during a parade on Victory Day, which marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2022. EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/REUTERS

Notably absent from this year’s formation plan were scores of weapons involved directly in Ukrainian hostiles, like anti-aircraft complexes Pantsir S-1, heavy multiple rocket launcher “Smerch” as well as T-80 tanks.

An open-source intelligence analyst Oliver Alexander noted that the armored vehicles used by the Russian National Guard were also missing this year.

“[The vehicles] are being used extensively in the invasion of Ukraine and have suffered heavy losses,” Alexander said in a tweet.

Ukraine says Russia bombed school as barrage continues 03: 03

During his speech, Putin held a moment of silence for Russian casualties of his war in Ukraine, promising to offer assistance to the families of fallen Russian soldiers.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered his own message on Monday, saying that Ukraine itself had been victorious against the Nazis during the Second World War, and that it would be again.

Haley Ott

Haley Ott is a digital reporter/producer for CBS News based in London.

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