Putin calls for international unity on Victory Day
Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an address on Victory Day on Tuesday, called for international unity and cooperation to fight against violent threats.
Speaking to troops before the celebrations at Moscow's iconic Red Square that mark the 72nd anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi forces, Putin said Russia was open to cooperating with the rest of the world to counter violence, Efe news reported.
In order to wage an effective fight against terror, extremism and neo-Nazism, among other threats, unity in the international community was needed, he said.
He highlighted that Russia's military was prepared to repeal any threat, just as it had during the Second World War against Nazi Germany, and that no force would ever dominate the Russian people.
In front of the more than 10,000 troops that were ready to parade, Putin paid tribute to veterans of the war, known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War.
Putin remembered Soviet soldiers' sacrifice during the war, which left around 26 million dead throughout the Soviet Union, and said the conflict's lessons forced us to remain alert.
Victory Day, celebrated annually, is one of Russia's most important festivals and is used by the country to flaunt its military might.
The Defence Ministry announced ahead of the start of the festivities that this year the Air Force exhibition would be cancelled due to bad weather conditions, though military planes had been releasing chemicals throughout the night to try to disperse the clouds over Moscow.