Putin urges world to fight terror as Russia marks WWII victory

Tuesday May 9, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking at the Victory Day military parade which was held at Moscow’s Red Square to commemorate the World War II anniversary. Putin used the occasion to call for a concerted fight against terrorism. PHOTO: REUTERS

 

MOSCOW (AFP) – President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday (May 9) warned Russia could defeat any aggressors but insisted that the world come together to fight “terrorism” as Moscow marked 72 years since victory in World War II.

Soldiers and military hardware paraded across Red Square in Moscow as the country held its annual pomp-filled celebration of the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.

“The lessons of past war force us to remain alert and the armed forces of Russia are capable of warding off any potential aggression,” Mr Putin said as he presided over the parade.

“Today, life itself requires us to increase our defensive capability, but for an effective fight against terrorism, extremism, neo-Nazism and other threats it is necessary to consolidate the whole international community.”

“Today, life itself requires us to increase our defensive capability, but for an effective fight against terrorism, extremism, neo-Nazism and other threats it is necessary to consolidate the whole international community.”

CLOUDS SCUPPER AIRSHOW

“We will never forget that the freedom of Europe and long-awaited peace across the planet was won namely by our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers.”

The Victory Day military parade was also a major chance for Mr Putin to showcase Russia’s military might as the country has poured vast sums into bolstering its forces.

In a hiccup, however, organisers said they were forced to cancel the traditional fly-by of helicopters and warplanes over Red Square due “adverse weather conditions” as heavy clouds covered Moscow.

As soldiers paraded in cities across the country, Moscow’s forces at its Hmeimim air base in Syria also held a ceremony.

Russia has been pushing for the West to join forces with it in Syria to battle “terrorism” but has faced fierce criticism for backing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Ties between Russia and the West have slumped to their lowest point since the Cold War over the crisis in Ukraine, where Moscow seized the Crimea peninsula and has backed insurgents in a bloody conflict.

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