Western “arrogance” is driving a “real war” against Russia and the West’s “superiority ideology is, by definition, repulsive, deadly, and criminal,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday during a Victory Day parade on Moscow’s Red Square.
Putin did not dwell on his own bold invasion of Ukraine, which prompted the massive military response from the U.S. and its allies and has blunted the Kremlin’s push to seize large swaths of the war-battered but resilient nation.
Putin said Western leaders “still talk about their exclusivity, put people against each other and divide society, provoke bloody conflicts and coups, sow hatred, Russophobia, aggressive nationalism, destroy those family, traditional values that make humans human.”
Victory Day, celebrated Tuesday in Moscow, marks the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender on the night of May 8, 1945. A major parade was also held in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, but dozens of parades and other public commemorations were canceled across the country. Regional officials cited “security concerns” or simply “the current situation.”
∙ European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, lauding the capital city as the “beating heart” of European values.
∙ Ukrainian authorities said Russia fired another barrage at Ukraine but that air defenses destroyed 23 of the 25 missiles that were launched. The air force said in a Telegram post that eight Kalibr cruise missiles were fired from carriers in the Black Sea toward the east and 17 from strategic aircraft.
UN chief says peace talks ‘not possible’ now
Peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia are currently impossible as “both parties are convinced they can win,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres told Spanish newspaper El País. He said the Russian invasion was a clear breach of international law. But he said the U.N. is focused on solving specific problems such as securing exports of Ukrainian grain, desperately needed to feed the developing world, through the Black Sea.
“I think that negotiation for peace is not possible at this time,” Guterres said. “I do not see Russia at the moment willing to withdraw from the territories it occupies, and I think Ukraine is hoping to retake them.”
Contributing: The Associated Press