Channel One reported the following news in a later program:
Before the start of the parade, [Russian President] Vladimir Putin congratulated the Russians on Victory Day and noted the importance of this holiday for each of us. The President also announced a minute of silence in memory of those who died during the Great Patriotic War.
[The station ran the entire speech. Below are excerpts from Putin’s speech, selected by NewsGuard.]
“Despite all controversies in international relations, Russia has always advocated the establishment of an equal and indivisible security system which is critically needed for the entire international community.”
“Last December we proposed signing a treaty on security guarantees. Russia urged the West to hold an honest dialogue in search for meaningful and compromising solutions, and to take account of each other’s interests. All in vain. NATO countries did not want to heed us, which means they had totally different plans. And we saw it.
Another punitive operation in Donbas, an invasion of our historic lands, including Crimea, was openly in the making. Kiev declared that it could attain nuclear weapons. The NATO bloc launched an active military build-up on the territories adjacent to us.
Thus, an absolutely unacceptable threat to us was steadily being created right on our borders. There was every indication that a clash with neo-Nazis and Banderites backed by the United States and their minions was unavoidable.
Let me repeat, we saw the military infrastructure being built up, hundreds of foreign advisors starting work, and regular supplies of cutting-edge weapons being delivered from NATO countries. The threat grew every day.
Russia launched a pre-emptive strike at the aggression. It was forced, timely and the only right decision. A decision by a sovereign, strong and independent country. The United States began claiming their exceptionalism, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union, therefore denigrating not just the entire world but also their satellites, who have to pretend not to see anything, and to obey and put up with it.”
“[Russia] will never give up our love for our Motherland, our faith and traditional values, our ancestors’ customs and respect for all peoples and cultures.”
“I am addressing our Armed Forces and Donbas militia. You are fighting for our Motherland, its future, so that nobody forgets the lessons of World War II, so that torturers, death squads and Nazis cannot exist in the world.”
“The loss of each officer and soldier is painful for all of us and an irretrievable loss for the families and friends. The government, regional authorities, enterprises and public organizations will do everything to wrap such families in care and help them. Special support will be given to the children of the killed and wounded comrades-in-arms. The Presidential Executive Order to this effect was signed today.”