It is Victory Day. As Ernest Hemingway said:
Anyone who loves freedom owes such a debt to the Red Army that it can never be repaid.
The most important part of Vladimir Putins speech to the Victory Parade on the Red Square is the narrative that explains how the current war in Ukraine began. Putin is correct in seeing this as a NATO proxy war against Russia:
[D]espite all controversies in international relations, Russia has always advocated the establishment of an equal and indivisible security system which is critically needed for the entire international community.Last December we proposed signing a treaty on security guarantees. Russia urged the West to hold an honest dialogue in search for meaningful and compromising solutions, and to take account of each others interests. All in vain. NATO countries did not want to heed us, which means they had totally different plans. And we saw it.
Another punitive operation in Donbass, an invasion of our historic lands, including Crimea, was openly in the making. Kiev declared that it could attain nuclear weapons. The NATO bloc launched an active military build-up on the territories adjacent to us.
Thus, an absolutely unacceptable threat to us was steadily being created right on our borders. There was every indication that a clash with neo- Nazis and Banderites backed by the United States and their minions was unavoidable.
Let me repeat, we saw the military infrastructure being built up, hundreds of foreign advisors starting work, and regular supplies of cutting-edge weaponry being delivered from NATO countries. The threat grew every day.
Russia launched a pre-emptive strike at the aggression. It was a forced, timely and the only correct decision. A decision by a sovereign, strong and independent country.
The use of pre-emptive strike is somewhat misleading. In fact the Ukraine started the war on Wednesday, February 16 2022, when its forces near the Donbas republics began preparatory artillery strikes for an all out ground attack on the Donbas republics.
The February 15 report of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine recorded some 41 explosions in the ceasefire areas. This increased to 76 explosions on Feb 16, 316 on Feb 17, 654 on Feb 18, 1413 on Feb 19, a total of 2026 of Feb 20 and 21 and 1484 on Feb 22.
The OSCE mission reports showed that the great majority of impact explosions of the artillery were on the separatist side of the ceasefire line.
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