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Putin warns of global clash as Russia marks victory in World War Two

Putin warns of global clash as Russia marks victory in World War Two
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 79th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2024. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS

MOSCOW, May 9 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West on Thursday of risking a global conflict and said no one would be allowed to threaten the world's biggest nuclear power as Russia marked the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two.

As Russian troops advance against Ukraine’s Western-backed forces, Putin accused “arrogant” Western elites of forgetting the decisive role played by the Soviet Union in defeating Nazi Germany, and of stoking conflicts across the world.

“We know what the exorbitance of such ambitions leads to. Russia will do everything to prevent a global clash,” Putin said on Red Square after Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu reviewed troops lined up in a rare May blizzard.

“But at the same time, we will not allow anyone to threaten us. Our strategic forces are always in a state of combat readiness.”

Putin, who sent his army into Ukraine in 2022, casts the war as part of a struggle with the West, which he says humiliated Russia after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 by encroaching on what he considers Moscow’s sphere of influence.

Ukraine and the West say Putin is engaged in an imperial-style land grab. They have vowed to defeat Russia, which currently controls about 18% of Ukraine, including Crimea, and parts of four regions in eastern Ukraine. Russia says the lands, once part of the Russian empire, are now again part of Russia.

 

WAR?

The Soviet Union lost 27 million people in World War Two, including many millions in Ukraine, but eventually pushed Nazi forces back to Berlin, where Hitler committed suicide and the red Soviet Victory Banner was raised over the Reichstag in 1945.

“In the West, they would like to forget the lessons of the Second World War,” Putin said, adding that Russia honoured all the allies involved in the defeat of Nazi Germany. He mentioned the Chinese people’s fight against Japanese militarism.

“But we remember that the fate of mankind was decided in the grand battles near Moscow and Leningrad, Rzhev, Stalingrad, Kursk and Kharkiv, near Minsk, Smolensk and Kyiv, in heavy, bloody battles from Murmansk to the Caucasus and Crimea.”

Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender came into force at 11:01 p.m. on May 8, 1945, marked as “Victory in Europe Day” by France, Britain and the United States. In Moscow it was already May 9, which became the Soviet Union’s “Victory Day” in what Russians call the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45.

In a much pared-down parade indicating the strains of war, Russia showed off just one T-34 tank. Fighters flew past streaming the Russian tricolour.

The parade also featured Russia’s Yars intercontinental strategic missile which a TV announcer said has “a guaranteed capability to strike a target on any point of the globe”

There were no leaders from the West.

Present were the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Cuba, Laos and Guinea-Bissau.

Russian officials warn that the Ukraine war is entering the most dangerous phase to date – Putin has repeatedly warned of the risk of a much broader war involving the world’s biggest nuclear powers.

The crisis has deepened in recent weeks: U.S. President Joe Biden signed off on $61 billion in aid to Ukraine; Britain said that Ukraine had the right to strike Russia with British weapons; and French President Emmanuel Macron has refused to rule out sending French troops to fight Russian forces.

Russia responded on Monday by announcing it would practise the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons as part of a military exercise after what the Moscow said were threats from France, Britain and the United States.

(Reporting by Reuters in Moscow and London; editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Rod H MacLeod says:

    You have the mark of the man, you have his friends (Mbalula, Pandor, Ramaphosa), you have his history.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Putin – don’t confuse the heroic struggle of Russia in WW2 with your own delusional evil murderous and nefarious agenda with your little man syndrome and hugely false and brittle ego. You are a nothing-nik – a low common vicious KGB thug who murders, kidnaps, tortures and banishes opponents to Siberia and terrorizes/abuses his population. You rule by fear, tyranny, murder and by the barrel of the gun. You will be remembered, the day can’t come too soon, as a diabolical murderous monster whose DNA is the same as Hitler/Stalin. You deserve to rot/burn in hell! You are too stupid to realize, as your missteps have shown, that freedom is ingrained in the human spirit – it will triumph in the end. None of the countries in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine and the Baltic states belong to you/Russia – they were conquered in WW2 by Stalin and he reneged on free elections after the war, as you did with Ukraine, when you signed that it was a sovereign country and they gave up their nuclear weapons. Whilst the West is slow to anger and doing all possible to contain this unjust, brutal and illegal war that you started, it is strong and it will give you such a hiding the minute you decide to go nuclear. Don’t make the same idiotic mistake like in Ukraine, expecting that you would be welcome with open arms and that your ‘special military operation’ (full invasion) would be over in a week. All you can do is bully, bluster and intimidate – it just shows how weak and pathetic you are!

  • District Six says:

    Why would Putrid stop now? Shows how ill-considered the ANCs infatuation with Putred’s Russia is. War exercises, anyone?

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