President Putin led the opening of Russias Victory Day parade on Moscow's Red Square on Tuesday with yet another tirade against what he perceives as all that is wrong in the world.

Russophobia, aggressive nationalism,” and the West's apparent attack on traditional values were all high on his list of grievances.

The annual event commemorates the Soviet Unions victory over Nazi Germany during World War II and features thousands of military personnel in ceremonial uniform marching to the sound of a military band.

Despite the celebratory tone of the parade, the event was overshadowed by Russias military setbacks in Ukraine and the conflict was a major theme of his speech.

Here are five highlights:

1. The world is at a “turning point” – “war has been unleashed on Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at Moscows Red Square Victory Day parade that the world was at a turning point and without a hint of irony, claimed a war had been unleashed against Russia.

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Today civilisation is again at a decisive turning point, Putin said at the parade, adding: A war has been unleashed against our motherland.

He called for Russia to be victorious: For Russia, for our armed forces, for victory! Hurrah!

 

2. “We want to see a peaceful, free and stable future.

As the leader who unleashed the bloodiest war of the 21st century, Putin did not hesitate to declare that he was striving for "peace and freedom."

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For us, for Russia, there are no unfriendly, hostile peoples either in the West or in the East. Like most people on the planet, we want to see a peaceful, free and stable future,” he said.

3. “Western elites provoke bloody conflicts and coups, sow hatred, Russophobia and aggressive nationalism.”

We believe that any ideology of superiority is by its nature disgusting, criminal and deadly,” Putin said.

However, Western globalist elites still insist on their exclusivity, pit people against each other and split societies, provoke bloody conflicts and coups, sow hatred, Russophobia, aggressive nationalism, and destroy family, and traditional values that make a person human.

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And all to continue dictating, imposing on the peoples their will, their rights, rules, and a system of robbery, violence and suppression,” he said.

 

4. “They [the West] gathered neo-Nazi evil spirits from all over the world to prepare a new campaign against Russia.”

Putin claimed that Western countries “seem to have forgotten, who defeated the monstrous, totally evil [Nazis]” and who “stood up as a wall for their native land and did not spare their lives for the liberation of the peoples of Europe.

“We see how in a number of countries, memorials to Soviet soldiers are being ruthlessly and coldly destroyed, a real cult of Nazis and their accomplices is being created…

“Such abuse of the heroism and victims of the victorious generation is also a crime, the outright revenge of those who cynically and openly prepared a new campaign against Russia, who gathered neo-Nazi evil spirits from all over the world for this."

5. “Ukrainians are hostages of the coup d'etat and the criminal regime of its Western masters.”

“Excessive ambitions, arrogance and permissiveness inevitably turn into tragedies,” he said. “This is the reason for the catastrophe that the Ukrainian people are experiencing now,”

Putin added that Ukrainians “became hostages of the coup d'etat and the criminal regime of his Western masters formed on its basis, a bargaining chip in implementing their cruel, selfish plans.”

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His defiant address was overshadowed by scathing comments by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the pro-Kremlin Wagner mercenary group, who accused Russia's military of repeated failures in Ukraine.

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen meanwhile arrived in Kyiv to mark the Europe Day celebration of peace and unity, a symbolic retort to Moscow's Victory Day military parade.

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