MOSCOW, May 9. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated all veterans of the Soviet Union’s 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War and all Russians on Victory Day. He laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin wall and addressed Russian citizens from the tribune installed near the Eternal Flame.
Russia is celebrating on May 9 the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War.
"Dear veterans, dear friends! From the whole of my heart, I congratulate you on Victory Day. This day is our most important and most cherished holiday. We always celebrate it solemnly across the nation, all together. Victory Day will always have a tremendous spiritual and moral significance and be a sacred date for us," the Russian leader stressed.
The head of state emphasized that "it is our memory and pride, the history of our country and of every family. It is a part of our souls, passed on to us by our parents and grandparents."
On this day, the descendants of the generation of victors "strongly feel the magnitude of their fates as we remember those who are no longer with us and look lovingly at their photographs of different years and wish our veterans a long life," Putin noted.
"They did so much for our Motherland that it is impossible to measure or repay. They saved our country and the future generations; they liberated Europe, protected peace, restored cities and villages and achieved enormous success," the Russian leader stressed.
"We pay tribute and endlessly honor the monumental and selfless heroism of the Soviet people, people of different ethnicities who stood shoulder to shoulder with each other in combat and on the home front," Putin said.
Their courage, unity, dignity and truly unfaltering willpower are timeless, the Russian leader stressed.
This place by the Kremlin Wall is sacred to all of Russians. The Eternal Flame burns here night and day in tribute to those who fell during the Great Patriotic War, to the heroes lying in unknown mass graves near Moscow and Smolensk, Stalingrad and Kursk, Sevastopol and Minsk, Kiev and Riga, Berlin and Vienna, at the Pulkovo Heights, and on the banks of the Neva, the Dnieper, the Danube, the Vistula and the Oder, the Russian leader recalled.
"Millions of those who fell did not live to see the Victory they dreamed of, believing that they would prevail over the enemy and return home. This is what they fought for to their last breath. They sacrificed their lives so that we, our children and grandchildren, and those who are yet to be born live in a world saved and preserved by the Soviet soldier," Putin said.
The Russian leader observed a minute of silence in their memory, suggesting that all Russians bow their heads "in tribute to those who did not return from the war, commemorating our sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, great grandfathers, husbands, wives, brothers and sisters, comrades in arms, relatives and friends."