President Vladimir Putin evoked the spirit of the Soviet army that defeated Nazi German forces at Stalingrad 80 years ago to declare on Thursday that Russia would defeat a Ukraine supposedly in the grip of a new incarnation of Nazism.
In a fiery speech in Volgograd, known as Stalingrad until 1961, Putin lambasted Germany for helping to arm Ukraine and said, not for the first time, that he was ready to draw on Russia’s entire arsenal, which includes nuclear weapons.
“Unfortunately we see that the ideology of Nazism in its modern form and manifestation again directly threatens the security of our country,” Putin told an audience of army officers and members of local patriotic and youth groups.
“Again and again we have to repel the aggression of the collective West. It’s incredible but it’s a fact: we are again being threatened with German Leopard tanks with crosses on them.”
Russian officials have been drawing parallels with the struggle against the Nazis ever since Russian forces entered Ukraine almost a year ago.
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