Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted “Nazi filth” in Ukraine in remarks he made to commemorate Victory Day, the 77th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Putin’s remarks also noted that he sent congratulatory messages to the Russian appointed heads of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine, which together make up the Donbas region, for “fighting shoulder to shoulder for the liberation of their native land.”
In the last month, Russia has refocused its fighting in the Donbas region, which has largely been held by Russian-backed separatists since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Putin had recognized Donetsk and Luhansk as independent republics in the days before the invasion.
“Today, the common duty is to prevent the revival of Nazism, which brought so much suffering to people from different countries,” Putin said in the messages, according to a press release from the Kremlin.
“It is necessary to preserve and pass on to posterity the truth about the events of the war years, common spiritual values and traditions of fraternal friendship.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday met with Bärbel Blas, the president of Germany’s parliament, in Kyiv as the countries commemorated the surrender of Nazi Germany on May 8, 1945.