Putin evokes Stalingrad battle as he vows victory in Ukraine war | Russia-Ukraine war News

Putin evokes Stalingrad battle as he vows victory in Ukraine war | Russia-Ukraine war News

Putin compared Russia’s war in Ukraine to World War II and also berated Germany for helping to arm Kiev.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has invoked a famous World War II victory over the Nazis to mobilize his nation, while predicting a Russian triumph in the war in Ukraine.

To mark the 80th anniversary of the Soviet victory over German Nazi forces in the Battle of Stalingrad, Putin laid a wreath at the eternal flame of the Memorial to Fallen Red Army Soldiers in Volgograd, the city’s current name.

“Unfortunately, we see that the ideology of National Socialism in its modern form and expression is again directly threatening the security of our country,” he said in a speech on Thursday. “Time and again we have to fend off the aggression of the collective West.”

Putin and other Russian officials often characterize Ukraine as a hotbed of neo-Nazi faith, even though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is of Jewish descent.

Putin also berated Germany for helping to arm Kiev and said he was ready to draw on Russia’s entire arsenal, including nuclear weapons.

“It’s unbelievable, but it’s a fact: they’re threatening us again with German Leopard tanks with crosses painted on their armor,” Putin said.

“And they will once again fight Russia on the territory of Ukraine with the hands of Hitler’s supporters, the Banderites,” he said, referring to WWII-era Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera, who was widely regarded as a Nazi collaborator.

Germany, which has pondered its decision to send tanks to Ukraine for months, intends to deliver them in late March or early April as part of an alliance of countries ready to deliver the units to Kyiv.

(Al Jazeera) Battle of Stalingrad

The Battle of Stalingrad has a deep resonance in Russia.

The five-month fighting between August 1942 and February 1943 is considered the bloodiest battle in history, with up to two million casualties for soldiers and civilians. Most of the city was reduced to rubble before the Nazis surrendered on February 2, 1943.

It was a major turning point in World War II and the battle remains an immense source of pride in modern Russia, hailed as a display of military might and moral seriousness.

The city was renamed in 1961 in response to the Soviet Union’s rejection of dictator Joseph Stalin’s cult of personality. Calls to restore the old name were not approved by the Kremlin.

As Russian forces scramble to gain ground in Ukraine, lawmakers from the dominant United Russia party have been told to compare the struggle in Ukraine to Stalingrad, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

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