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

  • Russian president speaks in Volgograd
  • 80 years have handed since Soviet victory in Stalingrad
  • Putin attracts parallels with Russia’s marketing campaign in Ukraine
  • This content material was produced in Russia, the place the regulation restricts protection of Russian navy operations in Ukraine.

VOLGOGRAD, Russia, Feb 2 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin evoked the spirit of the Soviet military that defeated Nazi German forces at Stalingrad 80 years in the past to declare on Thursday that Russia would defeat a Ukraine supposedly within the grip of a brand new incarnation of Nazism.

In a fiery speech in Volgograd, often known as Stalingrad till 1961, Putin lambasted Germany for serving to to arm Ukraine and mentioned, not for the primary time, that he was prepared to attract on Russia’s whole arsenal, which incorporates nuclear weapons.

“Sadly we see that the ideology of Nazism in its trendy kind and manifestation once more instantly threatens the safety of our nation,” Putin informed an viewers of military officers and members of native patriotic and youth teams.

“Many times we’ve to repel the aggression of the collective West. It is unbelievable nevertheless it’s a truth: we’re once more being threatened with German Leopard tanks with crosses on them.”

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Russian officers have been drawing parallels with the battle in opposition to the Nazis ever since Russian forces entered Ukraine virtually a 12 months in the past.

Ukraine – which was a part of the Soviet Union and itself suffered devastation by the hands of Hitler’s forces – rejects these parallels as spurious pretexts for a battle of imperial conquest.

Stalingrad was the bloodiest battle of World Conflict Two, when the Soviet Purple Military, at a price of over 1 million casualties, broke the again of German invasion forces in 1942-3.

Putin evoked what he mentioned was the spirit of the defenders of Stalingrad to clarify why he thought Russia would prevail in Ukraine, saying the World Conflict Two battle had change into a logo of “the indestructible nature of our folks”.

“Those that draw European international locations, together with Germany, into a brand new battle with Russia, and … anticipate to win a victory over Russia on the battlefield, apparently do not perceive {that a} trendy battle with Russia will likely be fairly totally different for them,” he added.

“We do not ship our tanks to their borders however we’ve the means to reply, and it will not finish with using armoured automobiles, everybody should perceive that.”


As Putin completed talking, the viewers gave him a standing ovation.

Putin had earlier laid flowers on the grave of the Soviet marshal who oversaw the defence of Stalingrad and visited the town’s principal memorial complicated, the place he held a minute’s silence in honour of those that died in the course of the battle.

1000’s of individuals lined Volgograd’s streets to look at a victory parade as planes flew overhead and trendy and World Conflict Two-era tanks and armoured automobiles rolled previous.

A few of the trendy automobiles had the letter ‘V’ painted on them, a logo utilized by Russia’s forces in Ukraine.

Irina Zolotoreva, a 61-year-old who mentioned her family members had fought at Stalingrad, noticed a parallel with Ukraine.

“Our nation is combating for justice, for freedom. We obtained victory in 1942 and that is an instance for as we speak’s era. I believe we’ll win once more now no matter occurs.”

The point of interest for the commemorations was the Mamayev Kurgan memorial complicated, on a hill overlooking the River Volga dominated by a hulking statue referred to as The Motherland Calls – of a girl brandishing a large sword.

The five-month-long battle decreased the town that bore Soviet chief Josef Stalin’s identify to rubble, whereas claiming an estimated 2 million lifeless and wounded on either side.

A brand new bust of Stalin was erected in Volgograd on Wednesday together with two others, of Soviet marshals Georgy Zhukov and Alexander Vasilyevsky.

Regardless of Stalin’s document of presiding over a famine that killed thousands and thousands and political repression that killed lots of of hundreds, Russian politicians and faculty textbooks have in recent times careworn his position as a profitable wartime chief who turned the Soviet Union right into a superpower.

Reporting by Tatiana Gomozova
Writing by Andrew Osborn
Modifying by Mark Trevelyan and Kevin Liffey

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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