A military band marches in Red Square in Moscow, Russia on May 9 during a military parade marking the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. Russian soldiers in Ukraine are fighting for their motherland because Russia faced a direct threat and a plotted attack near its borders, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on May 9, before a Victory Day military parade in Moscow's Red Square.
Over 11,000 troops and 131 items of military and special equipment were involved in the parade marking the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in the 1941 -- 45 Great Patriotic War.
A Russian military aircraft scheduled to fly over was canceled due to bad weather.
Russia's defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, reviewed the parade, which was led by Army General Oleg Salyukov, commander-in-chief of the Russian ground forces.
Putin, war veterans, and guests watched the parade from the central reviewing stand in Red Square.
Russian servicemen who took part in the battles of the special military operation in Ukraine's Donbass region also took part in the parade.
Putin said that you are fighting for the motherland, for her future, and so that nobody forgets the lessons of World War II, so there is no place in the world for executioners, killing squads and Nazis.
Russia's intervention in Ukraine was needed because the West was preparing for the invasion of our land, according to Crimea Putin.
He said that Kyiv had announced the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons and NATO had begun active military colonization. An absolutely unacceptable threat to us was created, directly near our borders.
We suggested to NATO countries that we sign a security treaty last year, but they did not want to hear us, they had completely different plans, and an attack on Crimea was being prepared, Putin said.
He said that the alliance began military development of the territories adjacent to us, and called the conflict inevitable. The death of every soldier and officer is painful for us, Putin said. The state will do everything to take care of these families. There were no major political announcements, despite speculation from Western media that Putin might use the occasion to announce a mobilization of reservists for the war in Ukraine or proclaim a victory. Nor did Putin's speech contain threats to use nuclear weapons.
Putin said the United States had banned US war veterans from visiting Moscow for the parade.
We honor the troops of all allied armies — the Americans, the British, the French — as well as those who participated in the resistance, the brave soldiers and partisans of China, all those who defeated Nazism and militarism, Putin said.