MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to cast Moscow’s military action in Ukraine as a forced response to Western policies and a necessary move to ward off a potential aggression.
Addressing Monday's military parade on Red Square marking the World War II victory over the Nazis, Putin drew parallels between the Red Army’s fighting against the Nazi troops and the Russian forces’ action in Ukraine.
Putin said the invasion of Ukraine was necessary, due to supposed threats of the West invading Russia’s borders.
The Russian president also encouraged soldiers in the Donbas region, which has been at the front line of conflict with Ukraine since 2014.
He told troops in Donbas that they are “fighting for the motherland, for its futures, so that lessons of World War II are not forgotten.”
While lambasting the West, Putin in his speech gave no signal of a shift in strategy or made any indication that he was going to declare a broad mobilization, as some in Ukraine and the West have feared.