World Putin on WWII Victory Day says will 'firmly' defend Russian interests
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Leonid Volkov said Putin has not met his international obligations before and any new agreements should take that into account.A Biden-Putin meeting has been touted for June but would be set against a backdrop of relations soured by tit-for-tat sanctions and the case of Kremlin scourge Nalvalny, who is serving a 2.5-year jail term in a penal colony, where he has ended a hunger strike.
President Vladimir Putin on Sunday vowed that Russia will "firmly" defend national interests and denounced the return of "Russophobia", as the country marked the 76th anniversary of victory in World War II.
His speech to thousands of soldiers and veterans on Red Square came at the start of an annual parade that sees hundred of pieces of military hardware roll through the streets of Moscow.
"The Soviet people kept their sacred oath, defended the homeland and freed the countries of Europe from the black plague," Putin told the gathered crowd.
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A war over Taiwan may lead Biden to a decision no American president since 1979 has wanted to make.The outgoing commander of US forces in the Indo-Pacific region, Navy Adm. Philip Davidson, told US lawmakers in March that he believes Beijing will attempt a takeover of the neighboring democratic island — which it considers part of mainland China — within the next six years. Davidson’s successor, Navy Adm. John Aquilino, expressed a similar concern days later.
"Russia consistently defends international law. At the same time, we will firmly defend our national interests to ensure the safety of our people," Putin said.
The Russian leader also denounced what he called a creeping return of ideologies of the time, when "slogans of racial and national superiority, of anti-semitism and Russophobia, became ever more cynical".
The state-run RIA Novosti agency reported that more than 12,000 military personnel would take part in Sunday's parade in the Russian capital, as well as some 190 pieces of military equipment and 76 fighter jets and helicopters.
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The Russian president defended the Sputnik V vaccine after an annual vaccine conference named Moderna's jab the best in the world.Putin was quoted by Interfax, an independent Russian news agency, as saying the Russian vaccines "are very modern and without a doubt the most reliable and the safest today.
Victory Day parades, which only became an annual event after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, also took place Sunday in dozens of cities across the nation.
During Putin's two decades in power, the public holiday has taken on increasing importance in projecting Russia's renewed military might.
A survey this week by state-run pollster VTsIOM showing that 69 percent of Russians view it as the most important holiday on the calendar.
A third of respondents told VTsIOM they would take part in the celebrations, while a fifth said they would watch on television.
- Tensions with the West -
The commemorations of the 76th anniversary of the 1945 victory come as tensions with the West have reached near Cold War times in recent weeks.
Russia has seen its diplomats expelled from a clutch of European countries over espionage scandals, as the United States and the European Union levied new sanctions on Moscow over the treatment of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and allegations of hacking and cyber attacks.
Putin on WWII Victory Day vows to 'firmly' defend Russian interests
President Vladimir Putin on Sunday vowed Russia will "firmly" defend national interests and denounced the return of "Russophobia", as the country marked the 76th anniversary of victory in World War II. His speech to thousands of soldiers and veterans on Red Square came as recent tensions between Moscow and the West have recalled the Cold War over the conflict in Ukraine and a litany of spy scandals in Europe. "The Soviet people kept their sacred oath, defended the homeland and freed the countries of Europe from the black plague," Putin told the crowd."Russia consistently defends international law.
Moscow has stepped up military activity abroad, intervening on behalf of Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria's civil war. It is also widely seen as backing pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Tensions in the conflict, which erupted after Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014, have also soared in recent weeks.
Clashes between the government and separatists have been intensifying since January in a conflict which has claimed more than 13,000 lives.
Russia last month amassed 100,000 troops near Ukraine's borders and in Crimea, its biggest buildup since 2014, though it quickly announced a drawdown in what many saw as a test for new US President Joe Biden.
Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken flew to Kiev in a show of support for Ukraine against Russia, and before an expected summit between Putin and Biden next month.
On Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky travelled with European diplomats to the pro-Russian breakaway eastern region of Lugansk to commemorate the end of WWII.
Russia seeks to outlaw Navalny movement .
A Russian court is set to hear an "extremism" case against the political network of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Monday as Moscow seeks to outlaw the opposition to President Vladimir Putin. The closed court hearing is part of a sweeping crackdown on Putin's most prominent critic and his supporters after Navalny barely survived a poisoning with the Novichok nerve agent last summer. As part of the effort -- which comes a few months before parliamentary elections -- the lower house is set on Tuesday to begin debating a bill banning members of "extremist" organisations from being elected lawmakers.