Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed on Monday that his army was fighting in Ukraine to defend “the fatherland”, in the face of the “unacceptable threat” posed by its neighbor supported by the West.
A speech to his armies
He then stressed that everything must be done to prevent “the horror of a new global war from being repeated”, in a short speech followed by the traditional May 9 military parade in Red Square which marks the Soviet victory over the Nazis in 1945. “I am addressing our armed forces: you are fighting for the country, for its future,” he said to the thousands of soldiers taking part in the parade.
Returning to his decision to launch his forces in Ukraine on February 24, he repeated that the Ukrainian authorities were preparing an attack against pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country, wanted to acquire the atomic bomb and were supported by NATO, existential threat to Russia.
A “preventive response”
“An absolutely unacceptable threat was forming, directly on our borders,” he said, once again accusing his neighbor of neo-Nazism and calling his offensive a “preventive response” and “the only good decision”.
Two and a half months after launching its forces against its neighbor, the fighting is concentrated in the east, as Russia has had to scale back its ambition to take the country and kyiv, its capital, in the face of fierce Ukrainian resistance. armed by the West.
Since Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000, the traditional May 9 parade has celebrated both the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany and the rediscovered Russian power after the humiliation of the fall of the USSR.
Avoid a new world war
The Russian president is also trying to place the conflict in Ukraine in line with 1945, describing the adversary as a neo-Nazi. Putin also put May 9 at the heart of Russian patriotism, as the USSR lost up to 27 million of its citizens in the war.
Faced with this terrible record, the Russian president stressed on Monday that Russia’s duty was to avoid a new world war, while many fear that the conflict in Ukraine will degenerate. “Our debt is to keep the memory of those who crushed Nazism (…) and to do everything so that the horror of a global war is not repeated,” he said.