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Putin says on Victory Day that Russia won’t let itself be threatened

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a defiant speech on Victory Day at Moscow’s Red Square, accusing the West of arrogance and risking global conflict. Addressing thousands of soldiers, Putin emphasized Russia’s readiness to prevent a global clash while asserting its right to self-defense, stating, “Our strategic forces are always in a state of combat readiness.”

Victory Day, commemorating the Soviet victory over Germany in World War II, holds immense significance in Russia, with Putin aligning the country’s current actions with its historical role in defeating Nazism. He has framed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an existential battle against Nazism, a narrative that underscores his commitment to confront perceived threats.

Putin’s speech coincided with recent military advances in Ukraine and his inauguration for an unprecedented fifth term as president. He pledged “victory” to Russians, positioning himself as a stalwart defender of national interests amid escalating tensions with the West.

In line with his aggressive rhetoric, Putin has intensified Russia’s nuclear posture, ordering military drills involving nuclear weapons near Ukraine and withdrawing from key arms reduction agreements with the United States. The cancellation of Victory Day parades in certain regions due to security concerns underscores the gravity of the situation.

Putin portrays the conflict in Ukraine as a struggle against Western encroachment on Russia’s sphere of influence, a narrative that resonates with his domestic audience. Despite Ukraine and its allies’ determination to resist Russian aggression, Putin remains steadfast in his assertion of Russia’s dominance in the region.

The presence of leaders from allied countries at the Victory Day event underscores Russia’s efforts to garner international support for its actions in Ukraine. However, tensions continue to escalate, with Putin warning of the potential for a broader conflict involving nuclear powers.

As the Ukraine war enters a critical phase, Putin’s belligerent stance signals his determination to assert Russian interests on the global stage, even at the risk of provoking a wider confrontation with the West.

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