President Vladimir Putin warns of global clash as Russia marks Victory Day – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Russian President Vladimir Putin cautioned against a potential global conflict and asserted Russia’s determination to safeguard its status as the world’s largest nuclear power in his address on Thursday.
As Putin led the commemoration of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, he criticized Western elites for disregarding the pivotal role played by the Soviet Union in defeating Nazi Germany and accused them of instigating conflicts worldwide.
Speaking on Red Square amid a rare May blizzard, Putin highlighted Russia’s commitment to prevent a global clash while maintaining the readiness of its strategic forces. “We know what the exorbitance of such ambitions leads to. Russia will do everything to prevent a global clash,” Putin said on Red Square.
He said that the current conflict with Ukraine is part of a broader struggle with the West, stemming from what he perceives as Russia’s post-Cold War humiliation and encroachment on its sphere of influence.
Putin’s rhetoric echoes the narrative that Russia’s actions in Ukraine are justified, portraying them as reclaiming territories historically linked to Russia. However, Ukraine and Western nations view Russia’s actions as imperialistic and have pledged to resist its expansionist efforts.
Putin criticized Western nations for purportedly attempting to downplay the lessons of the war, emphasizing the importance of honoring all allies involved in defeating fascism.
The commemoration on May 9, known as Victory Day in Russia, marks the Soviet Union’s triumph in what Russians refer to as the Great Patriotic War. Amid tensions with the West, the parade in Moscow showcased military hardware, including the Yars intercontinental strategic missile, symbolizing Russia’s military capabilities.
Notably absent from the event were leaders from Western nations, indicative of the strained relations between Russia and the West. Against the backdrop of escalating tensions, Russian officials have cautioned that the conflict in Ukraine poses a significant risk of broader military escalation, involving nuclear powers.
Recent developments, such as the substantial aid package approved by the United States for Ukraine and statements from European leaders indicating support for Ukraine’s right to defend itself, have further exacerbated tensions. In response, Russia announced military exercises involving the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, citing perceived threats from Western nations.
(With agency inputs)

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