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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Veterans, colleagues, friends!
We all share the same feelings today.
We are all filled with pride for our country, which vanquished Nazism, and for our great people, who won victory in a battle the likes of which history had never known.
We mourn today the millions killed in that ruthless war, those who remained forever on the battlefields, in the ruins of cities and the ashes of thousands of villages.
We will never forget at what cost this victory was won, and nor will we ever forget the criminal acts of an enemy that so treacherously attacked our homeland.
Everywhere in Russia today, in the CIS countries, and further abroad, people are celebrating this, our common holiday. Every family has its heroes and its memories.
Such is this day, Victory Day, the truest of our holidays, and that which most genuinely belongs to all the people. This is the day on which we thank and bow our heads before our dear veterans.
Veterans, May 9 is your holiday above all, and we are truly glad to be together with you here today.
Let me once more congratulate you sincerely and express my deepest respect for the unprecedented strength of will that you showed in battle and in your toil on the home front, enduring losses and hardships, but never giving up, never flinching, never stepping back.
Your lives are an example for all generations in our big multi-ethnic country, and your selfless brotherhood has given us a priceless inheritance.
Over and over we thank you for making it possible for us to live and work in peace, create and dream, have children and grandchildren.
We will do all we can to ensure that they continue to preserve and treasure the memory of the Great Patriotic War’s heroes, learn its lessons for the sake of a safe, calm and peaceful life, understand their responsibility for Russia’s future, and make their contribution to developing our traditions of unity and genuine patriotism.
We will never betray our vows to love, look after and protect Russia, and will never betray the sacred truth about the war.
No matter how many years pass from that victorious May of 1945, it will forever be the symbol of the triumph of justice and life itself.
Allow me to propose a toast and raise my glass:
To this day of Great Victory and to all those who fought for our freedom and independence!
To prosperity for Russia and all its people!
Happy holiday, dear friends!
Happy Victory Day!