Photos: Russia marks WWII victory amid ongoing Ukraine war

Putin did not mention Ukraine by name, gave no assessment of progress in the war, or say how long it will last.

Victory Day Parade in Moscow
Russian service members march during a parade on Victory Day, which marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II in Red Square in central Moscow. [Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters]

Published On 9 May 20229 May 2022 – https://www.aljazeera.com/

Russian President Vladimir Putin attended Moscow’s Victory Day Parade marking the 77th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.

Impeccably straight columns of soldiers marched through Red Square on Monday as they do every year on Victory Day.

Tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and transports carrying huge intercontinental ballistic missiles rattled across the paving stones.

But this year’s observance of Russia’s most important patriotic holiday carries exceptional weight.

In his Victory Day speech, Putin drew parallels between the Red Army’s fighting against Nazi troops and the Russian forces’ action in Ukraine.

He said the campaign in Ukraine was a timely and necessary move to ward off potential aggression.

He added the Russian troops were fighting for the country’s security in Ukraine and observed a minute of silence to honour the troops who fell in combat.

He did not mention Ukraine by name, gave no assessment of progress in the war, and offered no indication of how long it might continue. There was no mention of the bloody battle for Mariupol, where Ukrainian defenders holed up in the ruins of the Azovstal steelworks are still defying Russia’s assault.

Putin has repeatedly likened the war – which he casts as a battle against dangerous “Nazi”-inspired nationalists in Ukraine – to the challenge the Soviet Union faced when Adolf Hitler invaded in 1941.

“NATO countries did not want to listen to us, meaning that they in fact had entirely different plans, and we saw this. Openly, preparations were under way for another punitive operation in Donbas, the invasion of our historical lands, including Crimea,” said Putin.

Victory Day Parade in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with spectators before the military parade on Victory Day in Moscow. [Sputnik/Kremlin via Reuters]
Victory Day Parade in Moscow
Russian servicewomen march on Red Square during the parade in central Moscow. [Kirill Kudrayvtsev/AFP]
Victory Day Parade in Moscow
Members of a military band attend the Victory Day military parade on Red Square in central Moscow. [Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP]
A T-34 Soviet-era tank drives in Red Square during a parade on Victory Day
A T-34 Soviet-era tank drives through Red Square in central Moscow. [Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters]
Russia Victory Day Parade
Russians carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II during the Immortal Regiment march in Ulan-Ude, capital of Buryatia, a region near the Russia-Mongolia border. [AP Photo]
Russian service members take part in a military parade on Victory Day
Russian service members take part in the military parade [Maxim Shemetov/Reuters]
People carry portraits of their relatives - WWII soldiers
People carry portraits of their relatives – WWII soldiers – in the far eastern city of Vladivostok. [Pavel Korolyov/AFP]
Victory Day Parade in Moscow
Russia celebrated the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany during World War II on Monday. [Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP]
WW2-ANNIVERSARY/RUSSIA-PARADE
Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu and Chief of the Russian Land Forces Oleg Salyukov drive Aurus cabriolets during the parade. [Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters]