Putin evokes Stalingrad to predict victory over ‘new Nazism’ in Ukraine

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  • Russian president speaks in Volgograd
  • 80 years since the Soviet victory over Stalingrad.
  • Putin draws parallels with Russian campaign in Ukraine
  • This content was created in Russia, where the law restricts reporting of Russian military operations in Ukraine.

VOLGOGRAD, Russia (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday evoked the spirit of the Soviet army that defeated Nazi Germany at Stalingrad 80 years ago, leaving Russia presumably under the rule of a new incarnation of Nazism. declared to defeat Ukraine in .

In a fiery speech in Volgograd, known as Stalingrad until 1961, Putin accused Germany of helping to arm Ukraine and was ready to tap into Russia’s entire arsenal, including nuclear weapons. said.

Speaking to an audience of army officers, local patriotic groups and youth groups, Putin said: “Unfortunately, we are seeing the ideology of Nazism emerging in its modern form, once again directly threatening our security. ‘ said.

“We have to repel the invasion of Western groups over and over again. Incredible, but true. German Leopard tanks crucified and threatened again.”

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Russian officials have painted something akin to a war with the Nazis since Russian troops entered Ukraine almost a year ago.

Ukraine, part of the Soviet Union and itself ravaged by Hitler’s armed forces, rejects these parallels as a false pretext for a war of imperial conquest.

Stalingrad was the bloodiest battle of World War II in 1942-1943, when the Soviet Red Army lost more than one million casualties.

Putin said the battle of World War II had become a symbol of “the immortal nature of our people”, evoking the spirit of Stalingrad’s defenders and explaining why he thought Russia would win Ukraine.

“Those who expect to draw European countries, including Germany, into a new war with Russia, and win Russia on the battlefield, clearly understand that a modern war with Russia will be very different for them. I haven’t.” he added.

“We don’t send tanks to their borders, but we have the means to respond. It doesn’t end with the use of armored vehicles. Everyone needs to understand that.”

victory parade

After Putin finished his speech, the audience gave him a standing ovation.

Putin previously laid flowers at the grave of the Soviet marshal who oversaw the defense of Stalingrad, and visited the city’s main memorial, where he held a minute’s silence in honor of those who died during the fighting.

Thousands of people lined the streets of Volgograd to watch the Victory Parade. Airplanes flew overhead, passing modern and WWII-era tanks and armored vehicles.

Some of the modern vehicles were painted with the letter “V”, the symbol used by the Russian military in Ukraine.

61-year-old Irina Zolotreva, who said her relatives fought in Stalingrad, saw parallels with Ukraine.

“Our country is fighting for justice and freedom. We won it in 1942. It’s an example for today’s generation. Whatever happens, I think we’ll win again.”

The centerpiece of the commemoration was the Mamayev Kurgan Memorial Complex on a hilltop overlooking the Volga River, which towered over a colossal statue of a woman wielding a giant sword called “Call of the Motherland”.

Five months of fighting reduced the city named after Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to rubble, claiming an estimated two million dead and wounded on both sides.

A new bust of Stalin Built in Volgograd on Wednesday With two others, Soviet Marshals Georgy Zhukov and Alexander Vasilyevsky.

Despite Stalin’s record of presiding over famines that killed millions and political repression that killed hundreds of thousands, in recent years Russian politicians and school textbooks have transformed the Soviet Union into a superpower. It emphasizes his role as a wartime leader.

Reporting by Tatiana Gomozova Writing by Andrew Osborne Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Kevin Liffey

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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