Conflicts & War

Putin blames West for Ukraine war as Russia displays its military might

Moscow, May 9 (EFE).- Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday blamed the West for his war in Ukraine, asserting Moscow did not want to repeat the “horrors” of a world war.

Putin delivered a speech as Russia celebrated the 77th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany with a grand display of military might on Moscow’s iconic Red Square.

“Our duty is to remember those who crushed Nazism (…) and do everything possible so that the horror of a global war does not repeat itself,” he said.

Putin mentioned the ongoing war in Ukraine that began with a Russian invasion on Feb.24 in what Russia calls a “special military operation.”

The Russian president justified the invasion as “a forced, timely, and only right decision” in a pre-emptive move to stop possible Western aggression led by the United States-led military bloc, NATO.

“The West was preparing for the invasion of Russia. NATO was creating tensions at the borders,” said Putin.

He said Moscow proposed talks in December last year for an agreement on security guarantees that “take into account each other’s interests.”

“All in vain. The NATO countries did not want to hear us, which means that they had completely different plans. And we saw it.”

Putin said the Russians were fighting for “the security of our Motherland – Russia” in Donbas in the eastern Ukraine region.

He spoke as neatly-attired Russian soldiers marched on the Red Square to celebrate the day.

The annual parade involves marching battalions and an ostentatious display of the latest Russian weaponry, including warplanes, tanks, and nuclear-capable missiles.

At the iconic Red Square in Moscow, 11,000 troops marched in front of the Kremlin, displaying some 130 items of the Russian war machinery.

The foot columns comprised 33 parade units that included officers, sergeants, soldiers of military units, formations of the Western Military District, students, and cadets of defense institutions.

A legendary T-34 tank led the mechanized column.

Also participating in the parade were the Iskander tactical missile systems, the S-400, Buk-M3, and Tor-M2 anti-aircraft missile batteries.

Fighters, bombers, and helicopters gave it a miss due to bad weather conditions.

This year no foreign guest was present on the occasion since Russia has enraged the global community with its invasion of Ukraine that has left thousands of civilians and soldiers dead and destroyed many Ukrainian townships.

The Kremlin has argued that it did not invite any foreign leader to the Victory Day parade this year because it was not a round-number anniversary – unlike in 2005 or 2010.

In his address to mark the WWII victory, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country would defend the nation and not cede any territory to Russia.

“There is no invader who can rule over our free people. Sooner or later we will win,” he said.

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