Putin invokes Battle of Stalingrad as he vows to win Ukraine war | War news of Russia and Ukraine

Putin compared Russia’s war in Ukraine to World War II and also criticized Germany for helping to arm Kiev.

Russian President Vladimir Putin evoked the famous World War II victory over the Nazis to rally his nation as he predicted a Russian triumph in the Ukraine war.

Marking the 80th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi German forces in the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II, Putin laid a wreath at the eternal fire of the memorial complex to the fallen Red Army soldiers in Volgograd, the city’s current name.

“Unfortunately, we see that the ideology of Nazism in its modern form and manifestation is once again directly threatening the security of our country,” he said in a speech on Thursday. Again and again we must repel the aggression of the collective West.

Putin and other Russian officials often characterize Ukraine as a hotbed of neo-Nazi beliefs, even though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is of Jewish descent.

Putin also criticized Germany for helping to arm Kiev and said he was ready to use Russia’s entire arsenal, which includes nuclear weapons.

“It’s unbelievable, but it’s a fact: we’re being threatened again by German Leopard tanks with crosses on their armor,” Putin said.

“And they will again fight against Russia on the territory of Ukraine at the hands of Hitler’s followers, the Banderas,” he said, referring to World War II Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera, who was widely considered a Nazi collaborator.

Germany, which has been mulling over its decision to send tanks to Ukraine for months, intends to deliver them in late March or early April as part of an alliance of countries ready to supply units to Kiev.

INTERACTIVE Ukrainian refugees
(Al Jazeera)

Battle for Stalingrad

The battle for Stalingrad has a deep resonance in Russia.

The five-month fighting between August 1942 and February 1943 is considered the bloodiest battle in history, and the number of dead soldiers and civilians reached as many as two million. Much of the city was reduced to rubble before Nazi forces surrendered on February 2, 1943.

It was a major turning point of World War II and the battle remains an immense source of pride in modern Russia, hailed as a demonstration of military might and moral seriousness.

The city was renamed in 1961 as part of the Soviet Union’s rejection of the personality cult of dictator Joseph Stalin. Calls to restore the old name did not receive the Kremlin’s blessing.

As Russian forces battle to gain ground in Ukraine, lawmakers from the dominant United Russia party have been told to compare the battle in Ukraine to Stalingrad, Kommersant newspaper reported.

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