Anchor of the Vesti v Subbotu programme on Rossiya television channel Sergei Brilev: Mr President, did you see everyone you hoped to see at the parade today?
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Do you mean the guests, or everyone in general who came to the parade?
Sergei Brilev: Let’s start with the guests. At one point, we were expecting the Americans and Europeans to come after all, but in the end they did not. Did this disappoint you?
Vladimir Putin: No. It makes me happy that around the world people are celebrating the Day of Victory over Nazism. I think that no matter where people are celebrating, if this is a genuine holiday for them, this is already a good thing.
There were veterans from the United States and Britain present today at the reception at the Kremlin. They came up and spoke very warm and friendly words. These were people who took part in the northern convoys, in the Normandy landing and in the fighting in Europe. We saw everyone we hoped to see here.
The main thing is for people to understand that the fight against Nazism was very important and that it was a very important milestone in human history.
As for what we saw today, I want to say that we saw many happy faces, our fellow citizens’ faces, and this is the main thing. We see May 9 as our great holiday, perhaps the most important date of all in our country’s history.
Finally, you saw the event today, the public event that was given the name The Immortal Regiment. People carried portraits of their loved ones, their fathers, mothers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers. People carried these portraits across Red Square.
Sergei Brilev: When did you decide to join in this event and walk together with the people?
Vladimir Putin: I can’t say that it was just a last-minute decision, but it was something I had not really thought about. Later, I learned that the march would take place right on Red Square and I decided that I would take part too. After all, my father was just an ordinary soldier, but it was the courage, blood and bodies of the ordinary Soviet soldiers that paved the road to Victory.
When we carry their photos, it is our way of paying tribute to all that they did for our country. At the same time, we realise that the responsibility for Russia now lies on our shoulders. We must be worthy of the feat of our fathers and grandfathers.
Sergei Brilev: Thank you, Mr President.
Vladimir Putin: Happy holiday!