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‘The West has decided to cancel these thousand-year-old values’ An excerpt from Vladimir Putin’s Victory Day speech

Source: Kremlin
Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Scanpix / LETA

Instead of officially declaring war against Ukraine in his speech at Moscow’s Victory Parade on Monday as many anticipated, Vladimir Putin used the occasion to play many of the old hits, including accusing the West of plotting to undermine Russia’s “traditional values,” claiming solidarity with World War II veterans across the world, and leaning into the idea of Russia as a multiethnic haven. Read Meduza’s translation of an excerpt from the speech below.

In December of last year, we proposed signing a new treaty on security guarantees. Russia called on the West to have an honest dialogue; to search for reasonable solutions and compromises; and to take each other’s interests into account. All of it was in vain. The NATO countries didn’t want to hear what we had to say — which means they had completely different plans. And we could see it.

They were openly preparing for another punitive operation in the Donbas — for an invasion of our historical lands, including Crimea. In Kyiv, they announced the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons. The NATO bloc began actively trying to assimilate the territories adjacent to us by military means.

In this way, they began systematically creating an absolutely inaccessible threat — and directly on our borders. All signs indicated that a clash with neo-Nazis, Banderites, on whom the United States and their junior partners had placed their bets, was inevitable.


The United States of America, especially after the breakup of the Soviet Union, began speaking of its exceptionalism, and in so doing demeaned not only the whole world, but also its own satellite countries, which had to pretend not to notice anything and obediently swallow it all.

But we’re a different country. Russia has a different nature. We will never turn away from our love for the Motherland, our faith and our traditional values, or ancestors’ customs, or our respect for all peoples and cultures.

But the West, by all appearances, they’ve decided to cancel these thousand-year-old values. This kind of moral degradation has been the basis for the cynical falsification of the history of the Second World War, the fueling of Russophobia, the glorification of traitors, the mockery of their victims’ memory, and the betrayal of the bravery of those who suffered to achieve the Victory.

We know that the American veterans who wanted to come to our parade in Moscow were effectively banned from doing so. But I want them to know: we’re proud of your achievements, your deeds, and your contribution to our common Victory.

We honor all of the soldiers of the Allied armies — Americans, British, French; Resistance members, the brave soldiers and guerrilla fighters of China; everyone who defeated Nazism and militarism.


Dear comrades!

Right now, here on Red Square, soldiers and officers from various regions of our vast Motherland, including some who came directly from the Donbas, directly from the combat zone, stand shoulder to shoulder.

Let us remember how Russia’s enemies tried to use gangs of international terrorists against us; how they sought to sow national and religious conflict in order to weaken and split us from within. None of it succeeded.

Today, our fighters of all different nationalities are fighting together, shielding each other from bullets and shrapnel like brothers.

And that’s Russia’s strength. The great, indestructible strength of our unified, multiethnic country.

Today, you’re defending what our fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers fought for. For them, the highest meaning of life was always the well-being and security of the Motherland. And for us, their heirs, loyalty to the Motherland is the most important value and a reliable pillar on which to base Russia’s independence.

Those who destroyed Nazism during the Great Patriotic War gave us an example of heroism for all time. They are a generation of victors, and we will always look up to them.

Glory to our valiant Armed Forces!

For Russia! For Victory!

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