Russia will always “firmly” defend its national interests, promised President Vladimir Putin on Sunday during the celebrations marking the Soviet victory over the Nazis. He denounced the return to the world of “racist and Russophobic” ideologies.

“Russia tirelessly defends international law. At the same time, we will firmly defend our national interests and ensure the security of our people, ”Vladimir Poutine underlined in front of hundreds of soldiers in ceremonial uniforms and at attention gathered in Red Square. According to him, ideas from Nazism “are brought up to date”, denouncing the return of “racist speeches, national superiority, anti-Semitism and Russophobia”.

More than 12,000 men as well as 190 vehicles and weapons systems began to parade at the end of the speech in front of the Head of State and an audience of officials and veterans for this traditional parade marking the victory over the Nazis during of World War II.

The May 9 celebrations across Russia, with military parades through major cities, are a moment of patriotic communion dedicated to the some 20 million Soviets killed during the conflict. According to the public polling institute Vtsiom, for 69% of Russians it is the main holiday of the year.

“For me and my family, it is a holiday celebrating a victory for the Russian people. We are proud, we remember and we honor our loved ones and our courageous soldiers ”, explains to Vladivostok Yulia Goulevskikh, an accountant who came with her daughter to attend the procession of soldiers in her city in the Far East. It was only after the fall of the USSR that the great military parade of May 9 in Red Square became an annual event.

Vladimir Putin placed May 9, in more than twenty years in power, at the heart of his power policy, extolling the sacrifice of the Soviets and regularly accusing his Western adversaries of historical anti-Russian “revisionism” by seeking to minimize the role of the Soviet Union. the USSR in the defeat of Adolf Hitler. “The Soviet people respected their sacred oath, defended the homeland and freed the countries of Europe from the brown plague,” the Russian president repeated on Sunday.