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Putin's Victory Day: One tank and threats to the West

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Putin's Victory Day: One tank and threats to the West

Parade on Red Square. Putin threatens readiness of

Parade on Red Square. Putin threatens readiness of© EPA, PAP, MAXIM SHIPENKOV

Aparade celebrated Victory Day through Red Square in Moscow. The ceremony was brief, mirroring Putin's speech. Despite the uninviting weather and little to boast about, the Russian president still attempted to showcase his strength. Russian strategic forces are always combat-ready, he proclaimed. We will not allow anyone to threaten us. 

Many reports by Russian and Belarusian media about alleged attacks and aggression from Ukraine are likely untrue. Such reports might be part of an information campaign by the Russian Federation.

This marked the 21st Victory Day parade observed by Putin as president of Russia, and it was undoubtedly one of the most subdued.

Only one tank rolled through

The Russian Ministry of Defence had announced that the parade would feature over 9,000 soldiers and about 70 pieces of military equipment.

Just one tank - the T-34, made its way through Red Square. Traditionally, this tank, which saw action in World War II, leads the motorised display of power. This year, the display was notably modest.

A few armoured vehicles and infantry fighting vehicles also rolled through Red Square. Onlookers could admire the Iskander-M missile, S-400 air defence, and Yars strategic missile systems. 

Commentators noted the lack of artillery and tanks, suggesting that this equipment might be used in the war in Ukraine.

Putin threatens the West

The parade concluded with military aircraft flying over Red Square.

Putin's speech was concise. He pointed out how the West attempts to "distort the truth about the Second World War," highlighting Russia's role in the victory over Germany in World War II. He accused the West of trying to demolish "memorials of truth to fighters against Nazism". 

"At the same time, we will not allow anyone to threaten us. Our strategic forces are always in a state of combat readiness," he claimed. He further declared that Russia would not permit a global confrontation, which the Western elites sought.

Putin describes how the West is trying to incite conflicts around the world, interethnic hostility, and limit sovereign centres of development, overlooking his order for the attack on Ukraine. 

"Russia will do everything to avert a global confrontation," he continued in a propagandistic tone.

Putin also pointed out that "Russia is now going through a difficult, milestone period, the fate of the Motherland, its future depends on each of us."

Exotic guests from Cuba, Laos, and Guinea-Bissau

The Russian president also discussed the participants in the war in Ukraine. He described them as "heroes, whose perseverance and sacrifice" are honoured by the entire country. 

His words were heard by the remaining World War II veterans, who wore thick jackets against the cold. The temperature hovered around 1 degree Celsius, and the biting wind made it feel even colder.

Putin was joined in the stands by a total of nine foreign leaders. These included the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, along with President Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos, President Miguel Díaz-Canel of Cuba, and President Umaro Sissoco Embola of Guinea-Bissau. 

Story by Violetta Baran: Daily Wrap: 

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