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Russia stages WWII victory parade as West stays away

Sunday, May 10, 2015 - 01:38

Russian President Vladimir Putin uses WWII anniversary parade to whip up anti-Western sentiment, in an event boycotted by Western leaders over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis. Mana Rabiee reports.

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A tightly-choreographed show of patriotism in Moscow's Red Square. Russia is marking 70 years since the surrender of Nazi Germany, with a military parade that's been a staple of Soviet and Russian pride since World War II ended. Russian President Vladimir Putin is joined by some 30 heads of state. But many Western leaders effectively boycotted the event, displeased over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis next door. Putin used the moment to whip up patriotism as well as anti-Western sentiment, warning that a "uni-polar" world view and fascism was on the rise. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "In the 1930s, an enlightened Europe did not see a deadly threat from the Nazi ideology from the very beginning. And now, 70 years later, history is again appealing to our minds and our vigilance." Putin later led more than half a million people in the so-called "Immortal Regiment" -- where people hold pictures of relatives who fought in the war. It was one of the largest such turnouts in living memory. Some 27 million Soviet citizens are thought to have died in World War II. Many Russians see this weekend's snub by the West as disrespect for their nation's heavy losses, and an undermining of Russia's role in winning the conflict.

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Russia stages WWII victory parade as West stays away

Sunday, May 10, 2015 - 01:38