The traditional celebrations of May 9 in Russia, the date of the victory of the Red Army over Nazi Germany, were the occasion for Vladimir Putin to deliver a speech in which he rejected the responsibility for the outbreak of the war in Ukraine on Westerners and their atomic power.
All eyes were on Moscow on Monday morning. The traditional May 9 celebrations in Russia, the date of the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany, took on a particular twist in the midst of the war in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin spoke on the sidelines of the usual military parade in Red Square. He blamed the outbreak of the war on Westerners. According to the Russian president, the Ukrainian authorities were preparing a war against pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass. kyiv wanted to obtain the atomic bomb supported by NATO. In other words, he had no choice.
From 1945 to today, there is only one step, according to Vladimir Putin
“We saw that this danger and this threat was more and more imminent. And Russia had to retaliate”, justified Vladimir Putin, during his speech. He then added: “We had no choice because it was the only possible solution for a sovereign and independent country.”
This very short speech – ten minutes – justified the intervention in Ukraine in the straight line of 1945, by qualifying his adversary as a “neo-Nazi” and by drawing parallels between the two wars: “We are proud of this generation of victors and we are their heirs. Our duty is to honor this memory. We must do everything to ensure that this war does not happen again.”
British and American intelligence feared an official declaration of war from the Russian president, but that did not happen. Vladimir Putin first spoke to the Russians, to his public opinion. He had words for the wounded, the dead soldiers on the front. He also announced that he had signed a text to further help bereaved families. Above all, the head of state placed this May 9 at the heart of Russian patriotism. As if the Russians should understand that this war will last a long time.
Volodymyr Zelensky’s response
For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for not rewriting history. “This victory against Nazi Germany is not the only fact of the Russians. Many Ukrainians also gave their lives during the Second World War”, he insisted on recalling in a video posted on his social networks .
“Today we celebrate Victory Day over Nazism of course, and we will not give anyone a single piece of our history. We are proud of our ancestors who together with the Allies defeated Hitler and we will not allow no one to take ownership of this victory,” he added.