Russia’s military operation in Ukraine was a preemptive move against an aggressor, Vladimir Putin has said during his address at the Victory Day parade in Red Square in Moscow on Monday.
During his speech, President Putin not only praised the achievement of the Soviet people during World War II, but also addressed the reasons for the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Russia had to act because a large-scale offensive against the breakaway republics in the eastern Donbass region was being planned, he said.
“We saw the military infrastructure unfolding [in Ukraine]; hundreds of foreign advisers starting their work; there were regular deliveries of the most modern weapons from NATO countries. The danger grew every day,” the president said.
“Russia gave a preemptive rebuff to aggression – this was a forced, timely and the only right decision by a sovereign, strong and independent country,” he added, referring to the launch of the military operation.
Announcing the “special military operation” on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow should not repeat the mistakes of the Soviet leadership of 1940-1941.
Back then, Putin pointed out, the USSR tried not to provoke Nazi Germany by “refraining or postponing the most urgent and obvious preparations it had to make to defend itself from an imminent attack.” As a result, the president continued, the moment was lost and the country was not prepared to counter the invasion.
“The attempt to appease the aggressor ahead of the Great Patriotic War proved to be a mistake which came at a high cost for our people…We will not make this mistake the second time. We have no right to do so,” Putin said.
There have been speculations that President Vladimir Putin Victory Day Parade on May 9 could be used to declare some kind of victory in Ukraine — or even all-out war.