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    HomeWorldIn his Victory Day Speech, Putin will compare the war in Ukraine...

    In his Victory Day Speech, Putin will compare the war in Ukraine to the Soviet resistance against Nazi Germany.

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    Russia celebrated Victory Day, a public holiday commemorating the country’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, with a parade in Moscow’s Red Square amid heightened security following a series of drone attacks. The attacks, including one on the Kremlin, have been blamed on Ukraine, which denies involvement. Victory Day is an emotionally charged event for Russia, as it remembers the sacrifices made by the Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45, in which around 27 million citizens died. This year’s anniversary is even more poignant because Russia is mourning thousands of soldiers killed in the 15-month war in Ukraine, which shows no sign of ending.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and other senior officials reviewed the parade, which usually includes tanks, intercontinental missile launchers and marching troops. However, reflecting increased security concerns caused partly by the drone attacks, authorities cancelled the traditional flyover. Fewer soldiers and less military hardware joined this year’s parade as the Ukraine conflict takes a heavy toll on men and equipment. Authorities nationwide cancelled the “Immortal Regiment” processions, where people carry portraits of relatives who fought against the Nazis.

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    Putin delivered a speech in Red Square, where he was joined by leaders of several ex-Soviet republics. In last year’s address he made no mention of Ukraine but slammed the NATO military alliance for expanding to Russia’s borders and hailed Soviet heroism in resisting Hitler. Putin has repeatedly likened the Ukraine war – which he casts as a battle against “Nazi”-inspired nationalists – to the challenge the Soviet Union faced when Hitler invaded in 1941.

    Kyiv says this is absurd and accuses Russia of behaving like Nazi Germany by waging an unprovoked war of aggression and seizing Ukrainian territory. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy annoyed Russia on Monday by moving the day that his country marks the allied victory over Nazi Germany to May 8, aligning it with Western nations in a repudiation of its Soviet past. Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova branded Zelenskiy a “traitor”, saying he had betrayed the memory of Ukrainians who died fighting the Nazis.

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