Putin praised Russia’s ‘iron will, fearlessness and steadfast courage’ in World War II. He made only oblique references to the current crisis in Crimea. Then headed to Sevastopol.May 9, 2014 By Mike Eckel
Tanks, troops, and patriotic fervor swept through Moscow’s legendary Red Square Friday as Russia marked the anniversary of the end of World War II, a traditional celebration whose emotional resonance has been amplified this year by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin then capped the sense of triumph in Moscow with a visit to Sevastopol, Russia’s newly annexed Crimean port.
Two days before pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine have vowed to stage a referendum on the future status of the region, President Putin used the military parade as an occasion to recall the historic defeat of Nazi Germany, known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War. But his nationally televised remarks skirted the tense situation in Ukraine.