Putin recalls Battle of Stalingrad as he vows victory in Ukraine war | News about the Russian-Ukrainian war
Putin compared Russia’s war in Ukraine to World War II and also criticized Germany for helping to arm Kyiv.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recalled a famous World War II victory over the Nazis to unite his nation while predicting a Russian triumph in war in Ukraine.
Marking the 80th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi German forces at the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II, Putin laid a wreath at the Eternal Flame at the Red Army Memorial Complex in Volgograd, the city’s current name.
“Unfortunately, we see that the ideology of Nazism in its modern form and manifestation is again directly threatening the security of our country,” he said in a speech on Thursday. Again and again we must repel the aggression of the collective West.
Putin and other Russian officials often characterize Ukraine as a hotbed of neo-Nazi beliefseven though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is of Jewish descent.
Putin too criticized Germany for the aid to hand Kyiv and said he was ready to use Russia’s entire arsenal, which included nuclear weapons.
“It’s unbelievable, but it’s a fact: they are threatening us again with German Leopard tanks with crosses painted on their armor,” Putin said.
“And they will again fight Russia on the territory of Ukraine with the hands of Hitler’s followers, the Banderists,” he said, referring to World War II-era Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera, who is considered a Nazi collaborator.
Germany, which has been mulling over its decision to send tanks to Ukraine for months, aims to deliver them in late March or early April as part of an alliance of countries willing to supply the units to Kyiv.
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad had a deep resonance in Russia.
The five months of fighting between August 1942 and February 1943 is considered the bloodiest battle in history, with the number of soldiers and civilians killed reaching two million. Most of the city was reduced to rubble before Nazi forces surrendered on February 2, 1943.
It was a major turning point of World War II, and the battle remains a huge source of pride in modern Russia, hailed as a display of military prowess and moral seriousness.
The city was renamed in 1961 as part of the Soviet Union’s rejection of the personality cult of dictator Joseph Stalin. Calls to restore its old name did not receive the Kremlin’s blessing.
As Russian forces struggle to gain ground in Ukraine, lawmakers from the dominant United Russia party have been told to liken the battle in Ukraine to Stalingrad, Kommersant newspaper reported.
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