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Media: Putin outwits Cameron giving boycotted Moscow parade seats to Arctic convoy heroes

May 25, 2015, 16:30 UTC+3 LONDON
The UK veterans were grateful to the Russian leader for this step
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Russian president Vladimir Putin and his chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the parade

Russian president Vladimir Putin and his chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the parade

© Alexey Nikolsky/Russian president's press service/TASS

LONDON, May 25. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin outwitted UK Prime Minister David Cameron who boycotted the Victory Parade in Moscow’s Red Square on May 9, giving his seats to Britain’s Arctic convoy heroes, The Daily Mail online reports on Monday.

"As a former KGB officer, Vladimir Putin knows a thing or two about turning adversity to his advantage. So when David Cameron snubbed his Red Square 'Victory Day' commemorations, the Russian leader was determined to outsmart him with a cunning propaganda initiative," says the publication. "In place of the Prime Minister on the VIP podium, Putin gave pride of place to three British Arctic convoy heroes. Ernie Kennedy, Geoff Shelton and David Craig were seated immediately behind the Russian president and alongside Chinese leader Xi Jinping."

The UK veterans were grateful to the Russian leader for this step. "President Putin gave us the best seats there. I think he wanted to show that we were representing the UK in Mr Cameron's absence," the newspaper quotes Mr Shelton, 89, of Edinburgh.

Shelton also said that "Mr Cameron should have come and I feel very annoyed that he didn't. It doesn't matter what the Government thinks or what's happening in Ukraine - it is petty and callous to ignore the sacrifice that was made by the 20 million Russians who died in the war."

"The Russians have treated us a lot better than our own Government, who have just behaved like spoilt children," said Mr Craig, 90, of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.

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