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Putin says it is a sacred duty to defend true heroes of Great Patriotic War

Russia will always honor war veterans, Putin vowed

MOSCOW, May 9. /TASS/. Defending the true heroes of the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War is a sacred duty in conditions when in some countries they "shamelessly lie to their children" about the war and "are betraying their ancestors," Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a speech at the Victory Parade in Moscow’s Red Square.

"The memory about the Great Patriotic War, about its truth, is our conscience and our responsibility. Today we see how in some countries they are deliberately distorting the events of the war, how they are making idols of those who forgot about their honor and human dignity and served the Nazis, how they are shamelessly lying to their children and betraying their ancestors," Putin said.

"Our sacred duty is to defend true heroes. We bow to all the veterans of the generation of victors," the Russian leader stressed.

The veterans of the Great Patriotic War are now living in different countries now but their feat "cannot be divided." "We will always honor all of you, glorify the Victory that was and remains one for all," Putin stressed.

Putin recalled signatures on the walls of the Brest Fortress: "I am dying but I am not surrendering," saying that "this was how millions of people thought and acted in the years of the Great Patriotic War, fighting for the Motherland in the crucial Battles of Moscow and Stalingrad, Kursk and Dnieper."

"The victory was being achieved by the valor of the defenders of ancient Russian capitals: Kiev and Veliky Novgorod and by the fearlessness of the defenders of Smolensk, Odessa and Sevastopol, by the boundless firmness of residents of the besieged Leningrad," Putin went on to say.

At each boundary, "feats of the huge spiritual strength" were accomplished and what’s more, frequently by quite young people: thus over a half of the heroes of the Soviet Union were awarded this title at the age of under 25," Putin noted.

"Many left for the front directly from the school bench and stayed there, on the frontline, forever, without getting to experience the happiness of love, family and the birth of children. Soldiers of their country did not spare their lives for the sake of its freedom, for the sake of the peaceful future and for the sake of each of us. We will never forget their courage and self-sacrifice, the high price with which the Victory was achieved. We are bowing our heads to the memory of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, fellow soldiers, relatives and friends. We are grieving about veterans who are no longer with us," the Russian president said, after which he declared a Minute of Silence.