The following speech was given by President Vladimir Putin of the Russia Federation on 9th May, 2021, at the parade marking the 76th Anniversary of the Soviet victory over fascism in Red Square, Moscow.
“Dear friends, this year, we are marking the 80th anniversary since the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. The 22nd June 1941 is one of the most tragic pages in our history.
The enemy attacked our country. That enemy came to our land to kill, sow death and suffering. That enemy wanted to topple the political regime and the Soviet system, and they also wanted to exterminate our state, our nation; to wipe out from the map our different ethnic groups.
But we answered the call of duty. Our nation wanted to do everything to defeat or crush the enemy so that those perpetrators could face justice.
The Soviet nation rose to the occasion – the Russian nation liberated Europe from the brown plague of fascism, showed its prowess, its might, the might of its swords and weapons. Its why wives waited for the messages from the front – that is the symbol of the love for the families, for the relatives, the nurses, who fought both on the battlefields and in the hospitals.
Back in 1941, 4 long and arduous years were still ahead. The war claimed the lives of the younger generation, those who were destined never to be born. The war brought so many tears, tragedies and suffering that we can not remember.
Still, there are those that, harbouring aggressive plans, cynical claims of ethnic superiority are heard from. Sinophobia is rampant.
There were agreements previously made to prevent wars, but these agreements were crushed. Wars have given us insights and lessons, but these lessons are forgotten, and some still do distort history.
It is not just international terrorists & radical groups who do this – there are still those who rear their ugly head, those who took part in those punitive actions in WW2, those who try to re-write history and try to whitewash the lives of those who had the blood of hundreds of thousands of people on their hands.
But we know what real history is. Every family has grandfathers who fought during those days & we know what our true history is.
We will forever protect our national interests, protect our nation, and our courageous armed forces, the successors of those winners in the great victory, who served that cause.
We will do everything to protect and ensure the prosperity of our lives, our families. The veterans serve as a great role model for us, for our deeds and thoughts, and in our future feats.
Glory to the nation that defeated Nazism!”