President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Dear veterans, friends,
I sincerely congratulate you on Victory Day.
Seventy-four years have elapsed since the spring of 1945, several generations have grown up, but the memories are still vivid of the war and the valiant defenders of the Motherland who annihilated Nazism at the cost of immeasurable sacrifices and losses.
The enemy was defeated not only with the power of equipment and military might. The key was that the weapons were in the hands of an unyielding tight-knit people, united in defending its own, dear, native land – both on the war front and home front.
The day of the great Victory was bestowed on us by the destiny of our nation so that our memory, consciousness and vigilance never fail.
We celebrate this holiday warmly, solemnly, with the pride of the sons and with such profound feelings that defy words. All our people honour and thank the victors’ generation.
Their heroic road is not a distant history for all of us – it is part of our life, our moral pillar, the benchmark of our endeavours and ideas, actions and deeds.
This is because each Russian family has its own intimate chronicle of the war – letters from the front, faded old photographs, recollections, wishes from the veterans that are passed on to the children and grandchildren.
Young people strive to learn as much as they can about their grandfathers and great-grandfathers. Members of the search movement and volunteers are restoring the minute details of the war, trace the fates of missing soldiers, and help descendants to find the graves of their family members who died for their Motherland.
They are doing this as they answer the call of the heart, taking your lives, dear veterans, your true unconditional love for the Fatherland as an example to follow.
During the war it was patriotism and true moral values that became the most powerful and reliable support for millions of people.
They were of different ages and ethnicities, men and women, old people and even children. Each of them had their own cruel lot. And there was so much grief and suffering for all of them that seemed impossible to bear.
Yet you overcame everything. Your truly iron will – to chase away, destroy the Nazis – still awes not only us but the whole world.
We as your heirs will do everything to be worthy of you, dear veterans, so as to fulfil your main behest – to preserve our Motherland, work for its benefit and love it with all our hearts.
Let me propose a toast.
To the glorious generation of the victors!
To the great Victory!
To the prosperity of our Motherland – our beloved Russia!