According to an online report, the tone of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech at Tuesday’s Victory Day parade differed significantly from last year’s speech, when the Russian president said that there was a “war” against Russia, after avoiding the term last year.
Victory Day is the day Moscow celebrates the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, also known as the Great Patriotic War. Again this year, Putin was the centerpiece of the celebration, giving a speech during a military parade on Red Square.
This year’s celebrations were held in a more simplified form because of the invasion of Ukraine, which resulted in significant losses of personnel and equipment during the war.
Reports reveal one of the most striking aspects of the event was the low participation of Russian military personnel. Russian-language publication Agentstvo noted that the 8,000 troops participating in this year’s march was the fewest since 2008 and about 3,000 fewer than last year’s Victory Day; in 2020, about 14,000 troops took part.
Putin did not use the word ‘war’ to directly describe the conflict he intensified in Ukraine last year. On Tuesday, he said a “war is being waged” in Russia.
He said there are no unfriendly or hostile countries in the West or East and that Russia wants a peaceful, stable, and free future.
Using the word ‘Ukraine’ again this year, which he did not mention in 2022, Putin said that they would not bow to the whims of the Western powers, which essentially want to dismember and destroy his country, completely destroy the world security and international legal system, nullify the achievements of the Second World War, and strangle all sovereign centers of development.
Putin, who last year condemned NATO for launching aggressive rearmament, did not mention NATO in his remarks this year.
According to a reference site, Victory Day is a public holiday commemorating the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in 1945. It was first celebrated in 16 republics of the USSR after the signing of the German surrender document at midnight on May 8, 1945. The Soviets declared victory on May 9th after the signing ceremony in Germany.