Speech at the Military Parade to Commemorate the 65th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945 2010-05-09 10:30:00 Red Square, Moscow Dear veterans, Dear citizens of Russia, Dear foreign guests, Comrade soldiers, sailors and sergeants, Comrade officers, generals and admirals, I congratulate you on the jubilee of the Great Victory! Sixty-five years ago Nazism was vanquished. The machine that was wiping off whole nations was stopped. Peace returned to our country and to Europe as a whole. An end was put to the ideology that was destroying the fundamentals of civilization. The Soviet Union bore the brunt of the Fascist attack as they threw in three quarters of their troops to the Eastern Front. They wanted to scorch our land, but instead they met with resistance unparalleled in courage and strength. The defence of Moscow and Leningrad, the battle of Stalingrad, the battle of Kursk also known as the Kursk Bulge — these are not just the stages of that war. These are blood and tears, the anguish of defeat and the triumph of victory, wounds and the death of comrades-in-arms. And there was only one choice — either conquer the enemy or become slaves. This war has made us a strong nation. Every day, every hour, every minute people made decisions, both in battlefields and in the rear. And this particular feeling – being personally responsible for the fate of the country — our veterans have carried through their whole lives. They have taught us the main lesson. They have attained freedom. Time is very powerful, but not as powerful as human memory, our memory. We shall never forget soldiers who fought on fronts. Women, who replaced men in factories. Children, who suffered from ordeals inconceivable for their age. All of them are heroes of the war. The victory in 1945 was not only a military but also a great moral victory. A common victory. All of the Soviet Union’s peoples fought for it, and our allies helped to bring it closer. And today troops from Russia, the CIS countries and our allies in the anti-Hitler coalition will march together triumphantly. March in a single formation as a proof of our common desire to defend peace and never to allow any revision of the outcomes of war, never to let any new tragedies happen. The war has taken tens of millions of lives. Lives of people from many countries, people of different ages, nationalities and confessions. In Russia almost every family has suffered from the atrocities of war with family members or relatives either killed or missing, starving from hunger during the siege of Leningrad or killed in concentration camps. That cannot be tolerated. That cannot be forgotten. Memory is eternal. Dear friends, The lessons of World War II call us to solidarity. The world is still fragile, and we should remember that wars do not start in a flash. The evil gains its strength if we shrink back or try to ignore it. Only together can we counteract modern threats. Only based on the principles of good-neighbourliness can we resolve issues of global security so that ideals of justice and of the good can triumph in the whole world and life of future generations can be free and happy. Dear veterans, Sixty-five years ago you won peace for our country and for the whole world. You have given us the most precious gift — an opportunity to live. We bow our heads in respect for you. I congratulate you on the holiday! I congratulate you on the Victory Day! All Honour to the winners! Hurrah!