President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Veterans, guests,
President of Serbia, Mr Vucic, Prime Minister of Israel, Mr Netanyahu,
I am pleased to welcome you here and to greet you on Victory Day.
It is truly a popular holiday, solemn, proud, mournful, but also very warm and personal. It means a lot to every family that today pay tribute to relatives and loved ones who survived the war and those who were killed, or went missing, those who are no longer with their family. Yet all these people are forever with us, in each new day that was paid for by their courage and sacrifice.
We will forever cherish the memory of the Victory’s brave heroes and modest labourers. We keep the memory alive in our hearts, in family albums, in archive footage, WWII songs, and in the unending procession of the Immortal Regiment.
It is with deep emotion and filial gratitude that I want to address the veterans: we are proud of you, we salute your courage.
You had one duty to fulfil and that was to protect your Motherland. You all overcame inhuman hardships. What children had to go through is poignant. Thousands of teenagers fought on the frontline or in guerrilla units, worked day and night on the home front, sacrificed all for Victory.
It is your loyalty to the Motherland that has helped you overcome all the hardships and preserve human dignity both during the war and afterwards.
You have always valued friendship and readiness to help one another. These are the qualities that have helped you in all your endeavours. Together, you restored the country, built cities, plants and factories, reclaimed virgin lands, made outstanding achievements in science, technology, and culture.
Your lives are a great example of popular unity and service to the Motherland that you have set for us and for generations to come. We will always follow this example.
We salute you.
I would like to address those veterans who are now in this hall, in our country as a whole, and all the veterans of the Great Patriotic War, wherever they live. I have met many of them in different countries. They are all heroes. We all commend your heroic feat.
I suggest a toast to peace, to the generation of victors, to Russia!
Congratulations on Victory Day!