Putin Flies to Crimea After Moscow Celebrates Victory Day

Putin Flies to Crimea After Moscow Celebrates Victory Day

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Sevastopol after Moscow’s Victory Day Parade. It is his first visit to Crimea since Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine on March 22. He will watch a military parade in the port city as the peninsula celebrates victory over the Nazis.

Putin flew to Crimea after Moscow held one of the biggest Victory Day parades in their history to commemorate 69 years since the end of World War II.

“The iron will of the Soviet people, their fearlessness and stamina saved Europe from slavery. It was our country which chased the Nazis to their lair, achieved their full and final destruction, won at the cost of millions of victims and terrible hardships,” Putin said in a speech to the military and war veterans gathered on Red Square.

“We will always guard this sacred and unfading truth and will not allow the betrayal and obliteration of heroes, of all who, not caring about themselves, preserved peace on the planet.”

Unfortunately, due to the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, 2014 is the first time the two countries did not celebrate Victory Day together. While Moscow held parades, the new government in Kyiv canceled all Victory Day celebrations in fear of violence and retaliation from pro-Russians.