President Vladimir Putin: Dear friends, dear veterans,
Every day brings us closer to a great and sacred date for our people – the 60th anniversary of the victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War, the 60th anniversary of victory in the Second World War, in which our people and our army played a decisive role.
This war was extremely blood and brutal. And only the heroism of our people and the Soviet army could turn the tide of events.
In this sequence of blood battles and heroic victories, the victory near Moscow naturally has special significance. And not just because it made possible to stop the ‘Blitzkrieg’- swift capture of our country, and to break the ‘Barbarossa’ operation. This victory had special significance, because our people and army were able to defend the very heart of our country, our dear Moscow.
This victory was very important and had a special meaning. It became clear that the brutal and cunning enemy could be beaten, and so from this moment on our people became absolutely certain that the enemy would be defeated, and the victory would be ours. And this was the most important moral advantage, a moral victory that our army gave to the country and the world in the battle near Moscow.
From that moment, wide counter-offensives began – from the northern regions of Leningrad to the Black Sea. And all these victories were gained at a very high cost, with much bloodshed, a terrible cost.
We know the role that the heroic divisions of the High Command reserve and from the Far East and Siberia played in this battle.
But we well understand that neither so-called ‘General Winter’, nor the lack of roads in Russia was the main reason for the enemy’s defeat. The loser always finds reasons for his defeat, but our soldiers and our people also faced these same difficulties. But we won because we were stronger in spirit. We won because of the heroism of our people, the skill and selflessness of our soldiers and officers, the people whom today we call veterans.
We will not only preserve the memory of this battle – we will always remember it, and always will be proud of it; and it will always inspire our people to new achievements in the name of our dear Russia.