A reception for veterans in honour of the Victory Day has taken place in the Kremlin, with more than 500 participants in the Great Patriotic War invited.
While greeting the veterans, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: "The Victory was the main award for what you experienced in the war years: the feats and courage, the losses and privation." "It encouraged you and gave you new forces to live on, to build, to create, to raise the country from ruins and to bring up children," the president noted.
According to him, "our fathers and grandfathers overcame the unbearable privation and hardships" and "today we need as ever their experience of faith, their unity and striving for the better." Putin recognised that a lot of complex problems remain, but "these are problems of peaceful life incomparable with those of the wartime." "We can and we must resolve them, we are bound to achieve success. But we can only advance to this goal together, putting all our heart into the country's cause. The veterans set us an example," the president stressed.
According to him, "the veterans know the whole truth of the war, remember those who fell on the battlefield, were tortured in concentration camps, killed by frost and wounds and will never forget those who created, loved and dreamt, but stood up to defend the country in hard times." "You passed the victorious attitude to life to new generations, including those who are now defending our Motherland's borders, defending the security of the country and our citizens," Putin told the veterans.
According to him, it was their "endurance, patience and great love for the Fatherland that helped them defeat the enemy in 1945." "Let them accompany you today, in building a new Russia," the president said and concluded his speech with a toast: "To the generation of winners - the soldiers of the Great Patriotic War! To peace and wellbeing in the Russian land! To the Great Victory!"
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had had a few fights and used strong language because of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014