Ukraine War: Putin says Russian forces 'defending motherland'

Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said troops and volunteers in the eastern Ukrainian Donbas region were "fighting for the motherland, its future" and he accused the West of preparing for an "invasion of our land".

“Defending the Motherland when its fate is being decided has always been sacred.

“Today you are fighting for our people in Donbas, for the security of Russia, our homeland.”

Putin was speaking at the annual parade on Moscow's Red Square, which marks the anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

Putin

He called Nato "an obvious threat" to Russia and said his "special military operation" had been necessary and the "right decision".

Putin also said the state would do "everything" to take care of families suffering bereavements caused by the Ukraine war.

"The death of every soldier and officer is painful for us," he said.

He finished his speech to cheers from soldiers in Red Square, cannon fire and the Russian national anthem.

Despite having been touted as a potential venue for Mr Putin to offer an update on Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, his 11-minute speech offered no such mention.

Previously, experts thought the celebration, centered around the grand military parade and flypast, could have been used by the president to proclaim victory in Ukraine.

Western officials also warned that Mr Putin could have used the 9 May to officially declare war on Ukraine to quell the alleged outrage felt by Russia’s military over the failures of its assault on the country.

If Mr Putin were to declare war on his neighbour, Moscow would be able to draft in more co nscripts - which could also be kept for longer than the usual year-long term - impose martial law and make bids for increased support from it’s international allies, such as Belarus.

But his speech today, marking the 77th anniversary of the triumph of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in 1945, was instead used by Mr Putin to repeat his credence that Russia’s military action in Ukraine is a timely and necessary response to Western policies.

Source:
BBC