Moscow (The Times Groupe) – Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated his baseless accusation that the West left him with no choice but to invade Ukraine on Russia’s annual Victory Day. Few clues were offered about the direction of the conflict, and air shows were canceled.
As Western officials warned that Putin could formally declare war during his speech on May 9, Ukraine officials, including Kyiv’s mayor, urged residents to remain alert. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised Ukraine “will win” in his own video message on Victory Day.
What did Putin say in Victory Day speech?
During his speech, he discussed the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which began after Russia invaded on February 24.
He stated that the invasion was the only right decision, claiming that the West was “preparing to invade Russia.”
“NATO was creating tension at the border. They would not listen to Russian concerns, Putin said.
“So no one forgets the lessons of World War II,” he said, citing the Russian fight for “the Motherland” in Donbas.
He promised to support the families of fallen soldiers. “Every death of a soldier or officer is painful for us,” he said. “The state will do everything it can to support these families.”