President Vladimir Putin: Comrade soldiers and sailors, sergeants and sergeant majors,
Comrade ensigns and warrant officers, officers, generals and admirals,
Citizens of Russia,
I congratulate you on Victory Day! On the great and sacred holiday for us of national pride and national glory!
Today we are honoring and remembering those who won the war. Who traversed the hard and terrible, but triumphant path, who held out and threw the fascists back from the borders of the Fatherland. Liberated other countries and did not disgrace their land, their country and their people.
This heroic Victory was won 58 years ago. The powerful Wehrmacht machine had been stopped, a strong, arrogant and ruthless enemy had been destroyed. An enemy who had not doubted his success and had already conquered all of Europe. But had been overcome. Overcome here — on our soil.
We bow our heads to the commanders and privates, to the dead and to the living, to those who were in the thick of it and who forged victory in the rear.
The Great Patriotic War was an epoch of fearlessness. It was a time of exploits, a time of strengthening the spirit and of the triumph of honor. There, at the sources of this victory, we to this day draw our strength, find spiritual reliance. And strive to so live and work that a terrible war would never recur again.
All the peoples of the multinational Soviet Union made their contribution to the common buildup to Victory. And therefore veteran victors are today being congratulated in all the fraternal countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
This is our common holiday. And a day of our common memory of how we marched towards Victory together, how we fought together, worked together and did not think of decorations, titles or glory. Then there was but one aim — to rout the enemy, to return home and to raise the country from ruins and ashes.
This Victory came at a price of irretrievable losses, was gained through blood and courage, through sweat and pain.
Love of the native land became the chief victorious force of the war, turned out more powerful than the Hitlerite hordes and guns, stronger than torture, stronger than the hardships that befell all who lived through this war.
These days we turn to the lessons of the war. We are obliged to remember how it started and have no right to forget why the fascists appropriated the right to determine the destinies of the world, the destinies of other countries and peoples. Why they considered themselves the makers of history and hoped to remain unpunished.
Then, at the beginning of World War II, an awareness of the total menace of fascism did not come at once. The waiting and inaction of the international community had allowed the Nazis to behave aggressively and impudently. It took years and millions of victims before humanity rallied.
It was unity that helped defeat fascism. This truly invaluable experience of unity is needed in our days as well. In the world there has appeared a new global and very serious danger — international terrorism. To counter it the efforts of all civilized countries need to be united.
In order to resist evil, it is necessary to strengthen the armed forces of our country, to learn steadfastness from our fathers and grandfathers. They did not waver in the face of a cruel and strong enemy, and their experience and their Victory are both our wealth and our spiritual beacon.
Happy Victory Day!
Glory to the soldiers of the Great Patriotic War!
Glory to the victorious people!
Glory to Russia!