Vladimir Putin lays flowers on WW2 memorial in Red Square
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Video footage posted on Twitter by BBC correspondent Francis Scarr captured the moment Vladimir Putin at Russia’s Victory Day parade heading to the World War II memorial in Red Square and laying red flowers on the memorial to commemorate the Soviet Union’s “hero cities”, including the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and city Odesa. Putin has been ordering his troops to target both cities with heavy bombing in his attempt to secure control over the southeast of Ukraine.
The video shows images of Putin holding red flowers and heading towards the memorial, recognisable by the sign Kyiv written in Cyrillic in gold.
Close to the Kyiv memorial, Putin is seen laying the red flowers to commemorate the Russian deaths that occurred in the city during the fight against Nazi Germany.
Despite not being visible directly in the video, Mr Scarr said Putin used the parade also to commemorate the deaths reported in the Ukrainian city of Odesa.
he said on Twitter: “Putin absolutely shameless as he lays flowers on WW2 memorials to the Soviet Union’s “hero cities”, including Kyiv and Odesa, following today’s Victory Day parade on Red Square.”
Referring to Putin’s move in Red Square, Ukrainian lawyer Larysa Denysink described the commemoration as “rotten” on Facebook.
She also added that the commemoration took place at the exact moment an air alarm was launched in the capital Kyiv.
Victory Day is regarded as one of the main celebrations in Russia as it represents the day Russians marks the surrender of Nazi Germany at the end of WW2 as Russian forces took over Berlin.
During the parade, Putin addressed his nation and openly claimed that intervention in Ukraine had been necessary as “the West was preparing for the invasion of [Russia], including Crimea”.
Referring to the invasion of Ukraine, Putin also added: “Moscow’s special operation in Ukraine would achieve its results.
“All plans are being fulfilled”.
The statements have been quoted by Russia’s state-owned news agency Tass, while broadcasting Putin’s speech and the parade live on national television.
In light of the parade and Putin’s speech, people protesting against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Poland were seen throwing red paint over the Russian ambassador of the country during a ceremony taking place at the cementer for Soviet soldiers in Warsaw as in form of protest.
Ambassador Sergei Andreyev and other Russian officials were heading to lay wreaths at the cemetery, which is believed to contain bodies of over 20,000 Soviet Army soldiers killed while fighting against Nazi German soldiers in Poland.
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The red pain, as explained by the protesters, symbolised the blood of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers who died in Ukraine during the Russian occupation.
As the Victory Day parade took, reports from Mariupol have confirmed that Russian forces are continuing their “storming operation” of the Azovstal steel plant.
Evacuations have taken place to allow civilians to escape the site, but a few hundred of civilians are believed to be still trapped in the plant.
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