Putin defends invasion of Ukraine during display of Russian might

Defends war in Ukraine as necessary to defeat Nazism


World News

May 9, 2022 - 3:39 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin watches the Victory Day military parade at Red Square in central Moscow on May 9, 2022. The day marks Russia's 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany during World War II. (Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

KYIV, Ukraine — With international pressure mounting and his invasion of Ukraine failing to make significant advances, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a strident speech Monday at an annual military parade in Moscow, accusing the U.S. and the West of provoking the conflict and comparing it to the Soviet Union’s fight against Nazi Germany in World War II.

But the Russian leader stopped short of using the occasion — known as Victory Day to mark the defeat of Hitler’s forces 77 years ago — to declare an all-out war with Ukraine, as some analysts feared he would. Russia still refers to the invasion as a “special military operation,” which does not require a full national mobilization of resources for war.

Standing in front of decorated veterans in Red Square, Putin characterized Russia as having had no choice but to strike back against the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the West’s refusal to provide Moscow with security guarantees.

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