Reactions To Putin’s Victory Day Speech

May 9 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin evoked the memory of Soviet heroism in World War Two on Monday to urge his army towards victory in Ukraine, saying the West had been “preparing for the invasion of our land, including Crimea.” Read full story

Putin was speaking at the annual Victory Day parade on Moscow’s Red Square marking the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.

Here is reaction to Putin’s speech and Victory Day celebrations in Moscow and elsewhere:

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak: 

“NATO countries were not going to attack Russia. Ukraine did not plan to attack Crimea.”

British Defence Minister Ben Wallace:

“There can be no victory day, only dishonor and surely defeat in Ukraine… He (Putin) must come to terms with how he’s lost in the long run, and he’s absolutely lost.”

Kira Yarmysh, exiled spokesperson for jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, in a tweet:

“An old man, mad in his self-isolation, stands alone on the podium …, coughs and says something about the Nazis of NATO. I don’t think even the most devoted Putin supporter will believe that this is an image of victory.”

Exiled Kremlin critic and Russian ex-oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, in a tweet:

“On May 9, 1945, the Nazis who bombed Kyiv at 4 a.m. on June 22, 1941, capitulated. At 4 a.m. on February 24, 2022, under the signs of fascist evil spirits, Kyiv was again bombed. The descendants of some of the victors. Who have become fascists.”

Allies of jailed political activist Andrei Pivovarov tweeted from his account: “Putin laid flowers at memorials to the Hero Cities of Kyiv and Odesa. No comment required.”

Gennady Gudkov, an exiled former lawmaker and member of the liberal opposition, tweeted:

“Putin repeated quotes from the zombie drawer… So the Kremlin no longer has any tricks in store. Now Putin’s defeat is a matter of time!”

Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, tweeted: “On Victory Day, Putin is losing his war in Ukraine. Time for Russian soldiers to go home.”

Sergei Nechaev, Russia’s ambassador to Germany, at a Victory Day commemoration at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate:

“At the time, Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian soldiers were also heroes who fought in the Red Army. We don’t divide this victory into national entities.”

Moscow resident Larisa at the Victory Day parade:

“I teach at a community college and our boys support it… Not only teachers but the kids too. They support the military operation.”

Olga, participating in St Petersburg’s immortal regiment march commemorating Russians who fought in World War Two:

“I have a son, who is now finishing his master’s, I’m really worried about him. Really. I know many mothers whose sons are now of conscription age. Those mothers do not know what to do with themselves… They’re trying to find any way to save their children from going to this war.” 

Russian satellite television menus were briefly altered to show Moscow viewers messages about the war including: “You have the blood of thousands of Ukrainians and hundreds of dead children on your hands,” “The TV and the authorities are lying. No to war.”

(Reporting by Reuters bureaux; Compiled by Gareth Jones, Kevin Liffey and John Stonestreet)

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