President Putin on Victory Day: This sacred holiday, remembering the millions who sacrificed and died and saved their country from the threat of Hitler’s genocide

From Kremlin.ru

May 9, 2017

After the reception, Vladimir Putin met with Slovenian veterans to congratulate them on Victory Day. “We are very grateful for what you are doing at home to honour the memory of Russian soldiers,” Vladimir Putin said.

The President also spoke with members of the Aleksandrov Song and Dance Ensemble of the Russian Army who were invited to the reception. Mr Putin congratulated its members and leader Colonel Gennady Sachenyuk on the holiday.

* * *

Speech at the Victory Day reception

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Dear veterans, ladies and gentlemen, friends,

Let me extend my heartfelt congratulations on Victory Day!

This is a holiday of pride, joy and grief. These sincere, unabashed feelings unite millions of people, all generations.

There is no other day when we all have such a strong sense of the value of life and the importance of love for the Fatherland, when remembrance of the war becomes universal and extremely important both for those who fought and laboured on the home front, for those who were born after the Victory and for very young people, for our children and grandchildren living in the 21st century.

This sacred holiday is celebrated by all of Russia. And it is clear why.

It is not just the many millions of victims which our people sacrificed on the altar of Victory. If our country would have succumbed to the terrible tragedy and, like many other European countries, suffered defeat, a totally different fate would have awaited us than the enslaved countries of the European continent. It was not only a question of the existence of our country, it was a question of the existence of our people as an ethnos.

 And we are well aware of this from the documents of the Nazi party and the fascist state which are still stored in archives. Those who were not used for slave labour would have been subject either to physical elimination, plain and simple, or resettlement to remote regions without any infrastructure where they would have been doomed to gradual extinction.

This is what we must always remember when we talk about the truth of the Second World War, the Great Patriotic War, when we speak about the victims which our people sacrificed on the altar of Victory, as I already mentioned. This is something we must never forget. This is the most important thing.

This is why we reach out to veterans on Victory Day. The most heartfelt congratulations and words of gratitude are extended to you. The flowers, gifts, concerts and fireworks, these are all for you.

We revere your valour and self-sacrifice, modesty and strength of spirit. We revere your entire generation which steadfastly endured such an arduous, long, rough and heroic road to Victory.

The defeat of Nazism was an epochal event for the entire world and for our country – a great celebration of liberation from tragedy, death and destruction, a day of triumph for a people who defeated a brazen, treacherous and brutal enemy, a people who paid an enormous price in blood and lives to determine the outcome of the deadliest war and bring it to a victorious close.

Our gratitude to the generation of victors is immeasurable. We will always keep faith with your covenants and your heroic legacy, and we will pass down this inheritance to our grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Thank you. Thank you for everything!

I would like to propose a toast to the victors, to peace in our land, to great Russia!

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54469

Pres. Vladimir Putin’s speech at military parade marking 72nd anniversary of Victory in the 1941–45 Great Patriotic War

From Kremlin.ru

May 9, 2017

At the military parade marking the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the 1941–45 Great Patriotic War.

Speech at military parade marking the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the 1941–45 Great Patriotic War

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Citizens of Russia, veterans, comrade soldiers and sailors, sergeants, midshipmen and corporals, comrade officers, generals and admirals,

I congratulate you on Victory Day. Happy holiday, a holiday whose significance was earned by the people themselves with their unparalleled feat of liberating our Fatherland and their heroic and decisive contribution to the defeat of Nazism.

The triumphant victory over that terrible totalitarian force will forever remain in the history of humankind as a supreme triumph of life and reason over death and barbarity.

It is our duty to remember that the victory was achieved at the cost on irreparable sacrifices, that the war claimed millions of lives. This monstrous tragedy was made possible primarily due to connivance to the criminal ideology of racial superiority and due to the lack of unity among the world’s leading nations. This allowed the Nazis to arrogate the right to decide the destiny of other peoples, to unleash the cruellest, bloodiest war, to enslave nearly all European nations and make them serve their murderous goals.

The Soviet Union faced the most powerful assaults by the Nazis.

But there was not, there is not and there will never be a power that could defeat our people.

They fought to the bitter end defending the homeland, and achieved the seemingly impossible by turning around the bloody wheel of World War II, and drove the enemy back to its home whence it dared to invade our land, crushed Nazism and put an end to its atrocities.

We will never forget that it was our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers who won back Europe’s freedom and the long-awaited peace.

The Great Victory was won by marshals and privates, volunteers and home front workers, partisans and the fighters of the underground. Old people and children. People of all ethnicities and trades. They all passed through the unthinkable ordeals of World War II with courage and unrivalled patience.

Without sleep or rest, they worked at the plants and in hospitals, they burnt in tanks, froze in trenches, drowned at river crossings, shielded their comrades in arms. They rushed into attacks realising that the battle could be their last one. They died without learning of the Victory yet they did all they could to bring it closer.

Today, we bow our heads to cherish the memory of those who did not come back from the war, in memory of the sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers, husbands, wives, sisters, fellow soldiers, family members and friends. We mourn the veterans who are already gone.

I ask for a minute of silence.

(A minute of silence)

Dear friends,

We celebrate Victory Day in each family across our huge country. No family was spared by the war. And we begin by honouring our veterans. We do it without hiding our tears and without shunning high-sounding words. They come from our hearts filled with respect and gratitude.

We feel a kinship and a piercing closeness to the generation of heroes and victors, and when addressing them, I will say: You will never feel ashamed of us.

A Russian soldier is ready today as ever for any sacrifice for his Motherland, for his people, showing courage and heroism.

Such warriors, soldiers and officers are here now, standing in the parade formations on Moscow’s Red Square. The country is proud of you!

We will always cherish Russia as you, the Soldiers of Victory, did, and we will strengthen the traditions of patriotism and committed service to the Fatherland.

The lessons of the past war call on us to be vigilant. And the Russian Armed Forces are ready to counter any potential aggression.

Life itself demands from us that we must increase our defence potential. However, the consolidation of the world community is needed for an effective fight against terrorism, extremism, neo-Nazism and other threats.

We are open to such cooperation. Russia will always side with the forces of peace, with those who opt for equal partnership, who reject wars as contrary to the very essence of life and the nature of man.

Dear friends,

The further the events of the Great Patriotic War fade into history, the greater is our responsibility to future generations. We must give them stability and peace on the planet. We must pass on to them the grave heroic truth and memory of the Great Patriotic War, the spirit and meaning of Great Victory.

We must do this so that our descendants should love Russia as much, and the people’s memory should forever cherish the generation that selflessly fought for its Motherland and protected its freedom and independence with honour.

Glory to the victorious people!

Happy holiday! Happy Victory Day!

Hurray!

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54467

Washington DC holds ‘Immortal Regiment’ March to honor Victory Day

From Sputnik International

May 6, 2017

Hundreds of people marched down the central streets of Washington DC as part of the “Immortal Regiment” march on Saturday afternoon to honor those who fought against Nazism in the World War II.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Despite the rain and chilly weather, several hundred young and older people, children and veterans took part in the event. The march was attended by people from the United States, Eastern Europe, Russia and former Soviet republics.Anna Rozhke, currently living in Maryland, told Sputnik she came to the March to honor her relatives who fought in the WWII.

“I am holding the photos of my father Viktor Konusov who fought in the WWII and came back, his brother Alexander who went missing but most likely was killed, and my grandfather Ivan Zlobin who also went missing and we think he was killed. I came today because it is a big important holiday for everyone in Russia and abroad, who remember history and don’t want it to repeat,” Rozhke said.

Tim Rush who was carrying the photo of his uncle who took part in the war, told Sputnik that he came to the March to show solidarity with the military of the countries that united during the WWII against fascism.

“This is the photograph of my uncle Alen Pifer who fought in the World War II, and on May 6, 1945 he was part of the US troops that liberated the concentration camp in Austria. I am here in solidarity with soldiers in the United States, Russia and other nations. Today, the fighting against terrorism should bring our nations back together again. I thought it was very positive what [Russian President] Vladimir Putin brought to the United Nations in September a year and a half ago saying ‘Let us reconstruct the kind of cooperation in WWII to confront the terrorism today,’” Rush said.

Anita Gallager from Virginia told Sputnik it was important for her to come to the March because her father participated in the war, and also because she wanted the US-Russia alliance to be restored.

“This is my father Frank Gretz. I am here because he was in the war, he was a soldier, and because I want to rekindle an alliance between American and Russian people. I think we have a lot in common,” Gallager said.

The march, held in the US capital for the second time, was accompanied by the songs of the WWII period sung by the participants to the music played by a bayan player.

The group was headed by the WWII veteran and walked from the White House to the World War II Memorial where they laid flowers and wreaths.

People were carrying photos of their ancestors who participated in the war.

The event concluded with a wartime songs concert performed by the children of the Russian language schools both in Russian and English.This year, 22 US cities are hosting the “Immortal Regiment” marches, including New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago.

The Immortal Regiment is a patriotic initiative that commemorates those who fought against Nazi Germany during World War II in marches held across Russia and other countries on May 9, celebrated as Victory Day in Russia and the former Soviet republics. During the marches, people carry photographs of their ancestors who participated in the war.

The first US march was held in the city of New York on May 3, 2015.

The number of Soviet Union casualties in WWII are estimated to have exceeded 27 million. The military casualties exceeded 8.7 million, which is more than a half of the total allied death toll.

https://sputniknews.com/us/201705071053351441-washington-immortal-regiment-march/

Foreign Ministry on upcoming Victory Day celebrations

Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation
April 27, 2017
Spokesperson Maria Zakharova:

Upcoming celebration of the 72nd Victory anniversary

In connection with the upcoming celebration of the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, the Foreign Ministry and our missions abroad plan to hold a series of memorial, protocol, informational and cultural events. These include official receptions and gatherings, meetings with war veterans, ceremonies at monuments and memorials to Soviet soldiers and various public events with the participation of our compatriots.

The Victory anniversary celebration will feature the Immortal Regiment event, which will take place in over 50 countries, and the St George Ribbon campaign in more than 90 countries, both initiated by organisations of Russian compatriots. Other events will include the Memory Candle, the laying of flowers at the graves of those who laid down their lives in the fight against Nazism, requiem rallies, concerts and period song festivals.

I would like to note that these are public events organised by our compatriots and members of civil society. Needless to say, Russian missions abroad are providing them the required organisational assistance.

In addition, a dance festival called Victory Waltz, symbolising the bond of generations, countries and nations, will be held in some CIS countries, in particular, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Let me remind you of a line from Klavdiya Shulzhenko’s song: “Oh, how my head is spinning, how it’s spinning.”

We expect local residents, veterans and members of antifascist organisations to join these events in a number of countries together with our compatriots, as they did last year. We hope that the authorities of the countries where these formal and memorial ceremonies will be held will not obstruct them but on the contrary, will themselves pay tribute to the memory of those who defeated fascism.

Participants in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 living abroad, survivors of the Leningrad siege and juvenile inmates of Nazi concentration camps will receive personal greetings from the Russian president.

Special attention is paid to performing maintenance on Russian (Soviet) war burial sites in other countries.

On May 9, the traditional military parade will take place on Red Square, which is due to be attended by the heads of foreign diplomatic missions accredited in Moscow.

We are confident that the celebration will, as always, take place in a special spirit, with a sense of enthusiasm, in an informal and warm atmosphere, and that it will attract all people who are eager to preserve historical memory and prevent the revival and glorification of Nazism.

There will be another special event. I will not go into detail at this point but will just raise the curtain a little. The Turetsky Choir is preparing a special surprise for us. We will keep you in suspense for a while but I will soon tell you about this event in detail.

http://www.mid.ru/en/press_service/spokesman/briefings/-/asset_publisher/D2wHaWMCU6Od/content/id/2739385

Putin in Serbia: the USSR won WWII [Video]

April 27th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
by Inessa Sinchougova

In anticipation of Victory Day, May 9th 2017, it is topical to revisit the subject of WWII. It is trendy nowadays in Western states to belittle the role of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War, as it is known in Russia, in which an estimated 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians died. On a personal level, it is 3 of my great-grandfathers killed in battle, and 1 who made it from Siberia to Berlin, and home to tell the story. One out of four family members – and this is standard for each Russian/Soviet family.

In this clip, Vladimir Putin addresses an assembly in Belgrade in 2014, an anniversary date for the liberation of Belgrade. He states that it is the USSR and the Yugoslavian forces that offered the most resistance to Hitler’s Germany; no historical manipulation can be entered into.

It is also trendy nowadays to dismiss the destructive role Nazism had on the European continent, linking Hitler to fighting against ‘international Jewish banksters’,  ‘subspecies’ and ‘the cabal.’ In reality, nobody in history of humanity destroyed more ‘white’ Europeans than Hitler’s Germany. At that point in time, world casualties amounted to almost ¼ of the world’s population as a whole. Every Russian city today has a monument or an eternal fire to the Great Patriotic War, with the names of the deceased printed for eternity.

Today, in April 2017, preparations for the 2017 Parade are taking place in Moscow. Are you coming?

The victory over Nazism: historical accuracy and international cooperation vs historical revisionism promoting xenophobia – President Putin and Russian committee discuss initiatives

From Kremlin.ru

April 20, 2017

Meeting of the Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee

Vladimir Putin chaired the 39th meeting of the Russian Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee in the Grand Kremlin Palace.

The main item on the meeting’s agenda was developing humanitarian cooperation with other countries at government and public level in the aim of promoting objective information about Russia’s history and present, including its role in the victory over Nazism.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,

Today, we are holding this meeting of the Russian Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee to discuss ways to develop our international cooperation and make fuller use of our humanitarian ties’ tremendous potential in our work together with others who are on the same page with us and think along the same lines as we do.

Work to preserve and defend the historical truth about World War II and the traditions and spirit of alliance in the fight against Nazism plays a great role here. In our view, this is above all a moral and human concept, a moral and human duty to the generation of victors, to those who fell for their motherland, and to those who revived and developed the country after the Great Patriotic War. This historical truth cements society and provides a spiritual foundation and basic values for development and for giving people of various generations the sense of being part of a truly united nation.

At the same time, we pursue open discussion of even the most controversial aspects of history, not only from the World War II period, but from other eras too. We take the view that no matter how difficult and contradictory history may be, it is there not to make us quarrel, but to warn us against mistakes and help us to strengthen our good neighbourly ties.

Sadly, there are other approaches to history too, of course, which attempt to turn it into a political and ideological weapon. We see the risks that arise from a cynical approach to the past. We see how falsification and manipulation of historical facts create division between countries and peoples, draw new dividing lines and create supposed enemies.

The line that same countries now follow, and which elevates Nazism to heroic status and justifies the Nazis’ accomplices, is particularly dangerous. Not only does it insult the memory of the victims of Nazi crimes, but it feeds nationalist, xenophobic and radical forces.

I want to emphasise too that historical revision opens the road to a revision of the very foundations of the modern world order and the erosion of the key principles of international law and security that took shape following World War II. We have said before what great risks this could have for everyone today.

Colleagues, we must stand up for an objective approach to history and pursue consistent and steady work on patriotic education, support public initiatives such as search movements or historical reconstructions, develop ties with compatriots abroad, look after the memorials here at home and abroad, and respond firmly to all acts of vandalism.

I think it particularly important to ensure broad access to archival materials, facilitate their publication and give people the possibility of turning to the original sources. This is an effective means of combating all kinds of inventions and myths.

We need to publish and store these archival and other materials on modern and good quality internet resources with interactive capability and enable convenient search for needed information. We need to focus on young people above all in this work and offer and promote these resources with the help of social networks.

Let me add that we are always open to honest and professional discussions on historical themes and joint research on even the most sensitive issues, at all levels what’s more, from large-scale intergovernmental programmes to bilateral contacts between regions, twin cities, universities, museums, scholars and researchers.

Common historical dates, including those that recall our brotherhood in battle and our cooperation during World War II are a good occasion for organising international conferences, round tables and exhibitions. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the legendary Normandie-Nieman regiment.

We have less than three weeks to go before May 9. I am sure that streets in Russia and abroad will once again fill with crowds of people willing to join the ranks of the Immortal Regiment. This deeply symbolic and touching event took place in 50 countries last year. This is the best proof of international cooperation’s colossal potential and of how a commitment to historical truth and our common memory brings people closer and unites them, and strengthens the mutual trust so greatly needed in Europe and around the world today.

The Foreign Ministry has overseen the drafting of a report and plan for comprehensive measures in the areas I have mentioned in humanitarian and international cooperation. We will discuss this document today.

Please, you have the floor, Mr Karasin.

Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin: Mr President, colleagues,

At this time of new challenges in global affairs, promoting objective information about our country and its past and present and responding to attempts to falsify history are undoubted priorities for the Foreign Ministry and the other agencies engaged in international activity. We are pursuing this work in accordance with the new draft of Russia’s Foreign Policy Concept that you approved in November 2016. Today, these efforts are particularly important.

Over recent years, history has become a target for the large-scale information campaign unleashed against our country and aiming to contain it and weaken its authority on the international stage.

Constant attempts to revise the results of World War II as enshrined in the UN Charter and other international legal documents are of particular concern, as are attempts to paint with the same brush Nazi Germany, the aggressor country, and the Soviet Union, whose people bore the brunt of the war and who freed Europe from the fascist plague, thereby ensuring the continent’s peaceful development for decades to come. We continue to give utmost attention to responding to this hostile line. We consistently advance the argument, including in key international forums, that it was the united anti-Nazi coalition’s efforts that not only vanquished Nazism but also created the post-war world order and its institutions, including the United Nations Organisation, and gave the human rights protection system its current shape.

We constantly remind our partners of the enduring significance of the Nuremburg tribunal’s decisions that stated in clear and unambiguous terms who was on the side of good and who was on the side of evil.

It was at our proposal that the UN General Assembly passes every year a resolution on combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that cause escalation of modern forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

To expand and support this base, the Foreign Ministry works in concerted fashion in multilateral formats and during bilateral contacts with our partners abroad.

A new resolution was adopted at the plenary session of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York last December. 136 countries voted for this document. Only two delegations voted against it: the USA and Ukraine. 49 countries abstained. It is particularly important and valuable that the number of UN member states acting as co-authors of the document, increased to 55.

Continue reading

Why Russia doesn’t want a war with the United States

One doesn’t fight madness with madness.

From Rusvesna.su

April 12, 2017

Here’s why Russia doesn’t want to fight the United States in Syria (VIDEO) | Русская весна

If one wants to know why the modern Russian state and the Russian people are so averse to war, just take a look and the following charts.

Conservative estimates for Soviet deaths in the Great Patriotic War/Second World War are just over 26 million. Other scholars take the aggregate total of deaths including those who died from starvation and disease at around 40 million.

Between 1941 and 1945, more Russian mothers had to bury their sons than any other group of mothers in the world and that’s just the mothers who themselves didn’t die during the war.

Every Russian person alive today either knows or is related to someone who fought in the Great Patriotic War. It is why on the 9th of May, every year, everyone from Vladimir Putin to ordinary people march in The Immortal Regiment to honour their loved who were veterans of that war whether they died in battle or after.

With this in mind, is it any wonder that Russians do not share the same zeal for war as those who have numerically and dare I say emotionally, not experienced the hell of war as sharply and as painfully?

It is as easy and as disgusting for alt-media trolls sitting behind their laptops to talk about Russia ‘lobbing nukes’ to show America Russia means business as it is for cretins like fake news merchant Brian Williams to call an unprovoked missile attack which killed innocent people ‘beautiful’.

This is why it should come as no surprise to anyone that First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on International Affairs Vladimir Jabarov has said that, “We cannot be dragged into a military confrontation as it could lead to a large-scale war”.

People like John McCain may just be crazy enough to want a war between superpowers, but hardly any Russians are.

In spite of this, many in the nominally pro-Russian alt-media seem to salivate at the concept of Russia engaging with the United States in a Third World War.

Copying aggressive, militant and preemptive neo-con strategies, only under a Russian flag, is not the solution to the mess that Donald Trump has created in Syria, nor is it what any mainstream Russian politician wants whether President Putin or opposition leaders Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Gennady Zyuganov. Contrary to inaccurate reports, the Russian government and main opposition leaders are speaking with a generally unified voice; one that is calm but stern, angry and prepared but not vengeful nor fanatical.

The Russian view boils down to this: maintain close and indeed closer cooperation with Syria, bolster Syria’s defences and be prepared for the worst with the knowledge that Syria and her legal allies do have the legal right to retaliate against any aggression on a sovereign state.

At the moment, that aggression mostly comes in the form of foreign terrorist proxies of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Britain, France and America. It also includes Turkish soldiers who Russia has not engaged with in battle and Israeli aircraft which Syria has engaged militarily but Russia has not.

Russia wants to avoid escalating the conflict at any cost, but is nevertheless prepared and quietly preparing for things to get worse all while working hard diplomatically to make sure things might get even a little better.

If Russia could resist the temptation to start another Russo-Turkish war in Syria, it follows that they will now try to resist a new Cuban Missile Crisis in the Middle East and one without the happy ending at that.

This explains Russia’s calm and quiet approach to the new unknown realities of American foreign policy in Syria.

As much as many would like Russian foreign policy to be as unpredictable, imperious and rash as that of the United States, this would be foolish. One doesn’t fight madness with madness.

Russia understands this, many people who fail to understand Russian history and culture do not.

http://rusvesna.su/english/1491949394

June 22, the day Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union; President Putin addresses the State Duma

From Kremlin.ru

Vladimir Putin addresses the State Duma’s plenary session
April 22, 2016

The President reviewed the Duma deputies’ results and work over the last five-year parliamentary session.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,

I wanted to meet with you as the parliament’s sixth convocation comes to the end of its mandate and thank you for your work over these years. I want to thank you and say a few words about the results of your work. Of course, I want to take a look forward too at the tasks the next parliament will have before it.

But first of all, let me turn to the tragic date we are marking today. Seventy-five years ago, Nazi Germany treacherously invaded the Soviet Union and the Great Patriotic War began. By this time, as we know, the Nazis has already enslaved many European countries.

The Soviet people took the brunt of the Nazis’ force, but they met the enemy with tremendous unity and resistance, and withstood the onslaught, fighting literally to the death to protect their homeland. They drove the enemy right back to its lair, inflicted a crushing defeat on the invaders and achieved the Great Victory.

Today, we bow our heads before this heroic generation. Our fathers and grandfathers gave their lives to save Russia and all of humanity from the fascist scourge. We will always remember their sacrifice and courage. We treasure the bright memory of all who gave their lives in that war, and all our veterans who are no longer with us now. I propose that we honour their memory with a minute of silence.

(Minute of silence)

It was the Nazis who unleashed this war. Their ideology of hatred, blind faith in their own exceptional nature and infallibility, and desire for world domination led to the twentieth century’s greatest tragedy.

We know the biggest lesson of that war: it could have been prevented. It could have been stopped if efforts had been made to firmly rein in the Nazis and their accomplices’ wild ambitions in time. But this did not happen. Our country, the Soviet Union, made direct proposals for joint action and collective defence, but these proposals were simply left hanging.

The leaders of a number of Western countries chose instead to pursue a policy of containing the Soviet Union and sought to keep it in a situation of international isolation. But it was Nazism that was the real and terrible global threat. Politicians underestimated its danger, overlooked the threat and did not want to admit that enlightened Europe could give birth to a criminal regime that was growing ever stronger.

The international community let its vigilance down and lacked the will and unity to prevent this war and save the lives of millions and millions of people. What other lesson do we need today to throw aside tattered old ideological differences and geopolitical games and unite our forces to fight international terrorism?

This common threat is spreading its danger before our very eyes. We must create a modern collective security system beyond blocs and with all countries on an equal footing. Russia is open to discussions on this most important issue and has repeatedly stated its readiness for dialogue.

For now though, as was the case on the eve of World War II, we see no positive response. On the contrary, NATO is stepping up its aggressive rhetoric and aggressive actions close to our borders. In this situation, we have no choice but to devote particular attention to the tasks we must address in order to increase our country’s defence capability.

I would like to thank the State Duma deputies for their deep and substantive understanding of Russia’s state interests and for knowing how to defend these interests decisively. Of course, I also want to thank you for your consolidated legislative support for the proposals on strengthening our country’s security.

Colleagues, your work and its results deserve a worthy assessment. It is particularly important that the laws you have adopted have played a big part in enabling us to fulfil our social obligations to our citizens, develop our most important economic sectors and improve our country’s political system. I want to stress this point.

You have accomplished a tremendous amount of work in all these areas. This successful work is the result of the efforts made by all parliamentary parties and their willingness to pursue a constructive dialogue with each other, with the Government, and with the other participants in the legislative initiative.

A truly historic result of this convocation’s work was the legal integration of Crimea and Sevastopol, which followed on your sincere and heartfelt moral support for the peninsula’s people on the eve of the referendum on joining the Russian Federation. You were active in supporting the view shared by the vast majority of Crimea and Sevastopol’s people, sometimes emotionally, and when needed, very professionally.

During this time, all parliamentary parties displayed a degree of unity of which your voters can be deservedly proud. In a very short period of time, you adopted more than 120 laws that smoothed the way for Crimea and Sevastopol’s entry into the Russian Federation. You helped people to get through the transition period’s difficulties, feel at home in Russia and know that their rights are reliably guaranteed and new opportunities have opened before them.

A readiness to consolidate for the sake of the tasks at hand and for Russia’s sake is this convocation’s distinguishing feature. It is very important now that the next parliamentary convocation continues these traditions, including this strict respect for the rules of parliamentary ethics. Continuity in law-making work is of tremendous importance.

This ensures the legislative base’s quality and also the authoritative reputation of the entire Russian jurisdiction. We should most definitely continue the practice of annual reports on the state of our country’s legislation. These reports are drafted by both chambers of the Federal Assembly together with the regional parliaments. This is a very useful practice, I think, very important work.

I want to stress particularly that the legislative branch is an independent branch of power and no opportunist, short term interests or desire to push some decision through as fast as possible should interfere with its work. There should be no hasty or superficial approach when examining and adopting laws. I particularly emphasise this point. The key task for the new convocation in the law-making process will be to ensure a well-planned and systemic legislative process with deep and substantive discussion of draft laws.

Colleagues, I particularly want to mention your great contribution to developing our political system. You have passed a whole swathe of laws that strengthen Russia’s democratic foundations, make the political system more transparent and effective, and set higher standards for political competition.

We now have ten times more political parties than we did five years ago. But we know very well that the political system’s quality cannot be measured by the number of parties, but by their ability to influence the decision-making process regarding the issues of greatest concern to our people.

The parliamentary parties have considerable advantages, and these opportunities are deservedly earned. But during the upcoming election campaign, you will have to pass the test once again before your voters. The executive order setting the date for the State Duma election has already been signed. The election will take place under the mixed-member system on September 18th.

Let me stress that the State Duma will soon get an influx of deputies elected in single-seat districts, and this will bolster considerably the parliament’s representative functions and ties with the regions. It is very important that your work gives our people added guarantees of their social rights. These rights should be guaranteed by laws that regulate education, healthcare, and the housing and utilities sector.

You have devoted much effort over these last years to precisely these issues, including support for motherhood and childhood. These are complicated issues of course, difficult problems, but their resolution is crucial for our country’s future. All of the different issues are important of course. Security and international affairs are important, but nothing is more important than the economy and the social sector.

We have put together an effective anti-corruption legal base over these last years, toughened requirements to all categories of civil servants, and introduced bans on opening accounts in foreign banks and possessing foreign companies’ assets.

Now we must ensure that all comply strictly with the law no matter what the office they hold. I am sure that we all share a unanimous position on this issue. I note too that the laws you have passed on strategic planning and industrial policy are extremely important, as is the law on priority development areas, for example.

The work on modernising civil law continues, including incentives for business and investment and measures to combat internet piracy. You have also passed the law on parliamentary oversight, which will most certainly raise the prestige and significance of the deputies’ work.

Improving our environmental legislation is an area of much importance today. Protecting nature and the animal and plant world and guaranteeing people’s right to a good natural environment are common tasks for all political parties. I know that during this parliament’s term you have examined draft laws on the preservation and restoration of forests and ensuring forest fire prevention. The new State Duma will have to continue this work just as actively as you have, all the more so as we have declared 2017 the Year of the Environment.

All parliamentary parties have also shown unity on foreign policy issues. I already mentioned this. Yes, there were some attempts to play up differences between parties, but no one succeeded in splitting your unity and splitting the consolidation in our society and between your voters. At the same time, your contacts with colleagues abroad have become more intensive.

Friends, many political parties have already set dates for holding their congresses to announce candidates and present their campaign programmes. Essentially, the election campaign has begun. Ahead of you is some fierce competition, debates with opponents, and a far from easy time for all who will be taking part in these elections.

I hope that you will do everything possible to ensure that this election is honest, open, and takes place in a spirit of mutual respect. It is also my hope that you will hold a battle not of mudslinging against each other, but of ideas, the implementation of which should strengthen our country and raise our people’s living standards. I appeal to you to do this.

It is very important that all political parties realise their responsibility for preserving social stability and strive not just for the best election results, but for voters’ trust in the election’s outcome. I am sure that stability and trust are key factors and foundations for our country’s successful development.

You are all experienced people and have traversed all the difficulties of election campaigns before. But let me say again nonetheless that the most important players now are not the parties and candidates, but the voters, our country’s people. They are most important. It is they who give you the powers to decide their biggest problems so as to make our country an independent and effectively functioning state in which people can live and work in comfort and safety.

I am sure that you understand well the tasks before our country today. You have already demonstrated this through your work as deputies based on the principles of patriotism and service to people. You have succeeded in developing high standards of political and parliamentary culture and applying them in practice in your everyday work. It will be useful for our country and for the voters if this constructive political style becomes the distinguishing feature of this election campaign too.

You all have much work ahead of you. No matter where you will be working in the future, I wish you professional success and satisfaction, and I want to thank you once again for the very important and responsible work you have done in the Russian parliament.

Thank you very much.

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/52198

Transcript of President Vladimir Putin’s Victory Day speech: 70th Anniversary of “Victory in the Great Patriotic War”

Speech at military parade on Red Square in Moscow to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941–1945 Great Patriotic War.

Dear veterans,

Distinguished guests,

Comrade soldiers and seamen, sergeants and sergeant majors, midshipmen and warrant officers,

Comrade officers, generals and admirals,

I congratulate you all on the 70th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War!

Today, when we mark this sacred anniversary, we once again appreciate the enormous scale of Victory over Nazism. We are proud that it was our fathers and grandfathers who succeeded in prevailing over, smashing and destroying that dark force.

Hitler’s reckless adventure became a tough lesson for the entire world community. At that time, in the 1930s, the enlightened Europe failed to see the deadly threat in the Nazi ideology.

Today, seventy years later, the history calls again to our wisdom and vigilance. We must not forget that the ideas of racial supremacy and exclusiveness had provoked the bloodiest war ever. The war affected almost 80 percent of the world population. Many European nations were enslaved and occupied.

The Soviet Union bore the brunt of the enemy’s attacks. The elite Nazi forces were brought to bear on it. All their military power was concentrated against it. And all major decisive battles of World War II, in terms of military power and equipment involved, had been waged there.

And it is no surprise that it was the Red Army that, by taking Berlin in a crushing attack, hit the final blow to Hitler’s Germany finishing the war.

Our entire multi-ethnic nation rose to fight for our Motherland’s freedom. Everyone bore the severe burden of the war. Together, our people made an immortal exploit to save the country. They predetermined the outcome of World War II. They liberated European nations from the Nazis.

Veterans of the Great Patriotic War, wherever they live today, should know that here, in Russia, we highly value their fortitude, courage and dedication to frontline brotherhood.

Dear friends,

The Great Victory will always remain a heroic pinnacle in the history of our country. But we also pay tribute to our allies in the anti-Hitler coalition.

We are grateful to the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the Victory. We are thankful to the anti-fascists of various countries who selflessly fought the enemy as guerrillas and members of the underground resistance, including in Germany itself.

We remember the historical meeting on the Elbe, and the trust and unity that became our common legacy and an example of unification of peoples – for the sake of peace and stability.

It is precisely these values that became the foundation of the post-war world order. The United Nations came into existence. And the system of the modern international law has emerged.

These institutions have proved in practice their effectiveness in resolving disputes and conflicts.

However, in the last decades, the basic principles of international cooperation have come to be increasingly ignored. These are the principles that have been hard won by mankind as a result of the ordeal of the war.

We saw attempts to establish a unipolar world. We see the strong-arm block thinking gaining momentum. All that undermines sustainable global development.

The creation of a system of equal security for all states should become our common task. Such system should be an adequate match to modern threats, and it should rest on a regional and global non-block basis. Only then will we be able to ensure peace and tranquillity on the planet.

Dear friends,

We welcome today all our foreign guests while expressing a particular gratitude to the representatives of the countries that fought against Nazism and Japanese militarism.

Besides the Russian servicemen, parade units of ten other states will march through the Red Square as well. These include soldiers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Their forefathers fought shoulder to shoulder both at the front and in the rear.

These also include servicemen from China, which, just like the Soviet Union, lost many millions of people in this war. China was also the main front in the fight against militarism in Asia.

Indian soldiers fought courageously against the Nazis as well.

Serbian troops also offered strong and relentless resistance to the fascists.

Throughout the war our country received strong support from Mongolia.

These parade ranks include grandsons and great-grandsons of the war generation. The Victory Day is our common holiday. The Great Patriotic War was in fact the battle for the future of the entire humanity.

Our fathers and grandfathers lived through unbearable sufferings, hardships and losses. They worked till exhaustion, at the limit of human capacity. They fought even unto death. They proved the example of honour and true patriotism.

We pay tribute to all those who fought to the bitter for every street, every house and every frontier of our Motherland. We bow to those who perished in severe battles near Moscow and Stalingrad, at the Kursk Bulge and on the Dnieper.

We bow to those who died from famine and cold in the unconquered Leningrad, to those who were tortured to death in concentration camps, in captivity and under occupation.

We bow in loving memory of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, comrades-in-arms, relatives and friends – all those who never came back from war, all those who are no longer with us.

A minute of silence is announced.

Minute of silence.

Dear veterans,

You are the main heroes of the Great Victory Day. Your feat predestined peace and decent life for many generations. It made it possible for them to create and move forward fearlessly.

And today your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren live up to the highest standards that you set. They work for the sake of their country’s present and future. They serve their Fatherland with devotion. They respond to complex challenges of the time with honour. They guarantee the successful development, might and prosperity of our Motherland, our Russia!

Long live the victorious people!

Happy holiday!

Congratulations on the Victory Day!

Hooray!

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/49438

http://www.globalresearch.ca/transcript-of-russias-president-vladimir-putins-v-day-speech-70th-anniversary-of-victory-in-the-great-patriotic-war/5448502

The Victory banner is unfurled at the top of Mount Elbrus

From Fort Russ

March 6th, 2015
– From RT Russia and Novorosinform – translated by Joaquin Flores –


In honor of the 70th anniversary of victory in great Patriotic war, members of the mountain survival training Center, ФАУ МО РФ ЦСКА, made an ascent to the top of mount Elbrus and deployed a copy of the Victory banner.

Mount Elbrus is a dormant volcano located in the western Caucasus mountains, in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay–Cherkessia of Russia, near the border with Georgia. Mt. Elbrus’s peak is the highest in the Caucasus Mountains and in Europe, and it is the tenth most prominent in the world.

Elbrus stands 20 km (12 mi) north of the main range of the Greater Caucasus and 65 km (40 mi) south-southwest of the Russian town of Kislovodsk. Its permanent icecap feeds 22 glaciers, which in turn give rise to the Baksan, Kuban, and Malka Rivers.

http://www.fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-victory-banner-is-unfurled-at-top.html