Vladimir Putin: Friends,
Veterans of the Great Patriotic War,
Today we mark a holiday that is sacred; the day that saw the end of the bloodiest of all wars. I congratulate you on Victory Day.
This is not just another date, a page in history or a memory. May 9, 1945 was the day when our people prevailed over brutality and violence, over fear and pain. That day saw the greatest justice the world has ever known.
Victory came as the main reward for what people had lived through during the war: for their feats of courage and valour, their losses and privations. It inspired people and gave them new strength to live on in order to build and create, rebuild the country and raise children.
Our fathers and grandfathers had overcome unbelievable hardship and trials. Their experience of faith, unity and their aspirations for a better life are more relevant today than ever.
We still have many complicated problems. But they are problems of a time of peace. They cannot be compared with wartime problems. We can and must solve them. We must achieve success. Only, we should work towards that goal together, and dedicate ourselves to our cause and the interests of our country.
Our veterans set an example. During these memorable days you are of course thinking back to those times, the attacks and retreats, the trenches, the cramped dugouts. You know the truth about war. You know what genuine friendship and supporting the shoulder of your fellow soldier mean. You remember those who died on the battlefield, those who died in concentration camps, and those who succumbed to cold and injuries. And you will never forget the faces of those who were creating, loving and dreaming, but set all that aside at a moment of peril for the country in order to defend it.
And you have managed to pass on this victorious attitude towards life and these harrowing memories to the new generations, and of course to those who are today protecting the borders of our country, the security of our country and our citizens.
In 1945 your staunchness, fortitude and great love of your country helped you to overcome the enemy.
May these qualities always be with us today as we build a new Russia.
I propose a toast:
To the generation of victors!
To the soldiers in the Great Patriotic War!
To peace and prosperity on the Russian land!
To the Great Victory!