Russia’s President Defends Invasion On Victory Day
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
MOSCOW/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Isolated from the Western world and facing unprecedented sanctions, Russia’s president defended his Ukraine invasion, invoking World War II, but without signaling an escalation.
Vladimir Putin used his Victory Day speech on Monday to turn Russian pride in defeating Nazi Germany into support for this year’s invasion of Ukraine.
Contrary to expectations, the Russian leader did not officially declare war on Ukraine or call for a general military mobilization of potentially millions of men.
Moscow has called its invasion of Ukraine, in which tens of thousands of people died, a “special military operation” to protect Russian interests and “de-Nazify” the country.
Speaking in Moscow’s Red Square on Russia’s annual holiday marking the Soviet victory in World War II, he claimed that attacking Ukraine was “inevitable” and “the only correct decision.”
Addressing Russian forces on the front in Ukraine, he said: “You are fighting for the Motherland, for its future, so that no one forgets the lessons of the Second World War.”
Putin has tried to connect the fierce fighting in Ukraine to what Russians call the Great Patriotic War by describing authorities in Kyiv as neo-Nazis, though Ukraine’s president is Jewish.
In his speech, Putin claimed that Kyiv and its Western allies had been preparing “an invasion of our historical lands.” He said those areas included the Russian-speaking Donbas region and Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014.
“An absolutely unacceptable threat to us was being created, directly on our borders,” Putin said. He referred to the NATO military alliance weapons deliveries to Ukraine and the deployment of foreign advisors.
Worthy News also learned previously from a senior U.S. security source there are still as many as 10,000 Western forces in Ukraine, most of them from the United States working as “volunteers.”
With threats increasing, Russia had no choice, Putin said, to undertake a pre-emptive response in Ukraine.
He insisted that Russia was not looking to expand the conflict, saying it was necessary “to do everything so that the horror of a global war does not happen again.”
Putin said some of the troops participating in Monday’s parade had come directly from the front in Ukraine. He acknowledged the “irreparable loss” for the families of many dead soldiers and promised state support.
Yet, the Russian president still believes that he cannot afford to lose in Ukraine and is “doubling down” on the war, said Bill Burns, the director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
However, Putin shows no signs yet of planning to use tactical nuclear weapons, Burns suggested Saturday.
However, the failure of Russian troops to capture the capital Kyiv and their struggle along the war’s main frontlines in the southeastern Donbas region frustrates Moscow. However, Burns said Russia’s President Putin still thinks that his military can defeat Ukraine’s.
About 11,000 troops gathered to march on Red Square for Monday’s 77th anniversary, along with more than 130 military vehicles, according to official figures. But not everything went according to plan: A scheduled flypast by Russian military aircraft was canceled due to bad weather.
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