Sunday, May 19

Victory Parade on the Red Square

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President of Russia – Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin attended a military parade to mark the 79th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

Along with the head of the Russian state on the podium were President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kasym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Zhaparov, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmon, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of the Republic of Cuba, Head of the EAEU observer state Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau Oumarou Sissokou Embalo, President of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic Thongloun Sisoulith.

Before the start of the parade, Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin’s Armorial Hall welcomed foreign leaders who arrived in Moscow to participate in the festivities.


The parade began with the carrying of the Russian flag and the Victory Banner to Red Square. The parade was commanded by Army General Oleg Salyukov, Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces, and received by Army General Sergei Shoigu, Acting Minister of Defence.

Speech by the President of Russia at the military parade

Vladimir Putin: Dear citizens of Russia! Dear veterans!

Comrades soldiers and sailors, sergeants and petty officers, midshipmen and warrant officers! Comrades officers, generals and admirals! Fighters, commanders, front-line soldiers – heroes of the special military operation!

I congratulate you on Victory Day, our most important, truly national, sacred holiday!

We honour our fathers and grandfathers, great-grandfathers. They defended their native land and crushed Nazism, liberated the peoples of Europe, reached the heights of military and labour valour.

Today we see how the truth about the Second World War is being distorted. It hinders those who are accustomed to building their essentially colonial policy on hypocrisy and lies. They demolish memorials to the true fighters against Nazism, put on pedestals the traitors and collaborators of the Nazis, erase the memory of the heroism and nobility of the soldiers-liberators, of the great sacrifice they made in the name of life.

Revanchism, mockery of history, and the desire to justify the current followers of the Nazis are part of the general policy of Western elites to foment more and more regional conflicts, inter-ethnic and inter-religious hostility, and to contain sovereign, independent centres of world development.

We reject the claims of any state or alliance to exclusivity, and we know where the exorbitance of such ambitions leads. Russia will do everything to prevent a global clash, but at the same time we will not allow anyone to threaten us. Our strategic forces are always on alert.

The West would like to forget the lessons of the Second World War, but we remember that the fate of mankind was decided in the grandiose battles of Moscow and Leningrad, Rzhev, Stalingrad, Kursk and Kharkov, Minsk, Smolensk and Kiev, in heavy bloody battles from Murmansk to the Caucasus and the Crimea.

During the first three long, difficult years of the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet Union, all the republics of the former Soviet Union fought the Nazis practically one on one, while almost the whole of Europe was working for the military power of the Wehrmacht.

I would like to emphasise that Russia has never downplayed the importance of the second front and the assistance of the Allies. We honour the bravery of all the soldiers of the anti-Hitler coalition, resistance fighters, underground fighters, partisans, and the courage of the people of China, who fought for their independence against the aggression of militaristic Japan. And we will always remember, never, never forget our common struggle and inspiring traditions of alliance.

Dear friends!

Russia is now going through a difficult, milestone period. The fate of the Motherland, its future depends on each of us.

Today, on Victory Day, we realise this even more acutely and clearly, and we invariably look up to the generation of winners – brave, noble and wise, to their ability to preserve friendship and endure adversity, to always be confident in themselves and in their country, to love the Motherland sincerely and wholeheartedly.

We celebrate Victory Day in the context of a special military operation. All its participants – those on the front line, on the line of contact – are our heroes. We bow before your steadfastness and self-sacrifice, selflessness. All Russia is with you!

Our veterans believe in you and are worried about you. Their spiritual involvement in your fates and feats unbreakably binds the generation of heroes of the Fatherland.

Today we bow our heads before the bright memory of all those whose lives were taken away by the Great Patriotic War. In the memory of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends.

We bow our heads before the veterans of the Great Patriotic War who have left us. We bow our heads before the memory of civilians killed by barbaric shelling and terrorist attacks by neo-Nazis. Before our comrades-in-arms who fell in the fight against neo-Nazism, in the righteous battle for Russia.

A minute of silence is declared.

(Minute of silence.)

Dear our veterans, comrades, friends!

The ninth of May is always a very emotional, poignant day. Every family honours its heroes, looks at photos, at dear, beloved faces, remembers relatives, their stories about how they fought and worked.

Victory Day unites all generations. We go forward, relying on our age-old traditions, and we are confident that together we will ensure a free and secure future for Russia, for our united people.

Glory to the valiant Armed Forces! For Russia! To Victory! Hurrah!



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