Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech on Tuesday during Moscow’s Red Square Victory Day parade, where he claimed that the world is at a “turning point” and that a “war” has been launched against Russia. Despite security concerns, the Soviet-style event to commemorate Moscow’s victory over the Nazis was attended by elderly veterans and soldiers from Russia’s Ukraine campaign, 15 months into the conflict. Putin called for Russia to be victorious and said that its future “rests on” its soldiers fighting in Ukraine.
Putin has repeatedly portrayed the Ukraine campaign as an existential conflict, which he believes has been escalated by the West’s support for the Ukrainian government. During the parade, he addressed soldiers taking part in Moscow’s Ukraine campaign, several hundred of whom were present, and told them that “the whole country is with you.” Putin emphasized the importance of their combat effort, saying that “the security of the country rests on you today, the future of our statehood and our people depend on you.”
In his speech, Putin also criticized “Western globalist elites,” accusing them of causing conflicts and “coups” worldwide. “Their goal, and there is nothing new here, is to achieve the collapse and destruction of our country,” he claimed. Nevertheless, he vowed that Moscow would overcome these challenges, saying, “we have rebuffed international terrorism, we will protect the people of (eastern Ukraine’s) Donbas, we will ensure our security.” This statement seemed to reference a series of attacks on Russian soil in the lead-up to the Victory Day parade, which is a significant event under Putin’s rule.