President Putin's address at the military parade marking the 76th Anniversary of Victory
Citizens of Russia,
Comrades soldiers and sailors, sergeants and warrant officers, midshipmen and sergeant majors,
Comrades officers, generals and admirals,
Happy Victory Day! The Victory had a colossal historic significance for the fate of the entire world. It is a holiday that has always been and will remain a sacred day for Russia, for our nation.
It is our holiday by right, for we are blood relatives of those who defeated, crushed, destroyed Nazism. It is ours because we descend from the generation of victors, a generation we are proud of and hold in great honour.
Our dear veterans, we bow before your courage and strong spirit and thank you for this immortal example of unity and love for our Motherland.
You proved that only together it is possible to achieve what seems impossible. You defeated a merciless enemy, defended your home, your children, and your country. You came out an absolute victor in the battle against Nazism and eternalised the memory of May 9, 1945.
We will always remember that it was the Soviet people who demonstrated the ultimate heroism. During the harshest times of war, during the crucial battles that determined the course of the fight against Nazism, our nation was alone on the toilsome, heroic and self-sacrificing road to Victory. Our people fought to the bitter end at every frontline, in the fiercest battles on the ground, at sea and in the air.
People of all ethnicities and faiths fought for every inch of our soil. For the fields on the approaches to Moscow, for the Karelian rocks and Caucasus passages, for Vyazma and Novgorod forests, for the shores of the Baltic Sea and the Dnieper, for the Volga and Don steppes.
The heroism of Soviet troops and the unfaltering spirit of civilians are perpetuated in the glorious titles of Hero Cities, awarded to Moscow and Leningrad, Minsk and Kiev, Stalingrad and Sevastopol, Murmansk and Odessa, Kerch and Tula, Novorossiysk and Smolensk.
The unbreakable bond between frontline fighters and those at the home front ensured that our troops were provided with everything they needed for the Victory, thanks to the efforts of plants in the Volga region and the Urals, Siberia and the Russian Far East, the cities of Kazakhstan and Central Asian republics. We remember those who offered shelter and support to the evacuees who were forced to leave their homes.
Today we gratefully celebrate the memory of an entire generation of great heroes and dedicated workers, and remember our frontline fighters, brave partisans and members of the underground resistance.
We can feel the never-ending pain of the people of Leningrad who suffered through the siege; the concentration camp prisoners, and the countless tragedies of the people who lived in the occupied territories.
We bow to the blessed memory of those whose lives were taken away by that war; the memory of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, fellow soldiers, family members and friends. We mourn the veterans who have passed.
I ask for a minute of silence.
(A minute of silence begins.)
This year, we celebrate 80 years since the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.
June 22, 1941, is one of the most tragic dates in our history. An enemy attacked our country and invaded our land to kill and to spread death and pain, horror and immeasurable suffering.
This enemy not only wanted to overthrow the Soviet political system but also to destroy us as a state, as a nation and wipe our peoples off the face of the earth.
We responded to the invasion by the Nazi hordes with a united, formidable and unstoppable determination to repel that invasion, to do everything in our power for the enemy to be defeated and for the criminals and murderers to receive inevitable and just punishment.
The Soviet people fulfilled their sacred oath, defended their Motherland and liberated Europe from the ‘brown plague’.
The Soviet people issued a historic verdict to Nazism with the power of their weapons on battlefields and with their moral strength and righteousness, the self-sacrificing bravery of soldiers’ mothers and the faithfulness of those who waited, every day, for a message from the frontline from their loved ones. The Soviet people won thanks to the power of kindness and charity that has been inherent to our national character since the earliest times.
This power was manifested in the heroism of doctors and nurses who saved the wounded and fought for every life in the trenches, in the heat of battle, and in hospitals on the frontline and on the home front.
Back then, in 1941there were still four years of the most violent war ahead. That war was a strike at our future, our youth, our youngest generation and, therefore, those who were never to be born.
The war brought upon us so many unbearable ordeals, grief and tears that it is impossible to forget. Those who are plotting new aggressions cannot be forgiven or justified.
It has been almost 100 years since the time when the abominable Nazi beast was gaining insolence and predatory strength in Central Europe. The slogans of racial and ethnic supremacy, anti-Semitism and Russophobia were becoming more and more cynical. Agreements designed to stop the landslide towards a world war were easily broken off.
History demands that we learn from it. Unfortunately, attempts are made to deploy a large part of Nazi ideology and the ideas of those who were obsessed with the delusional theory of their own supremacy.
This ideology is not only supported by radicals and international terrorist groups of all kinds. Today we are witnessing the surviving members of those killing squads and their followers trying to rewrite history and justify the traitors and criminals whose hands are smeared with the blood of hundreds of thousands of civilians.
Our people know too well how this can end. Every single family in our country cherishes the sacred memory of those who fought for our Victory and we will always be proud of their feats.
Russia is consistently defending international law while continuing to protect our national interests and the security of our people.
Our guarantees are the glorious Russian Armed Forces, descendants of the victorious troops, and, of course, our joint efforts for the sake of our country’s development and the wellbeing of Russian families.
Our veterans, their fates and loyalty to the Motherland is the example we follow. It is the summit that we must strive for while reaffirming the significance and the value of the great Victory in our thoughts and deeds, in our present and future endeavours for the sake of our Fatherland.
Glory to the victorious nation!
Happy Victory Day!