Vladimir Putin compared Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to fighting Nazi Germany during World War II in a speech to mark the 80th anniversary of the conclusion of the Battle of Stalingrad.
Citing Germany’s decision to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the Russian president claimed that history is repeating itself.
“It’s unbelievable but true,” he said. “We are again threatened by German Leopard tanks”.
Germany is one of many countries sending weapons to Ukraine so that it can defend its territory from Russian invasion.
Speaking in Volgograd, the modern name for Stalingrad, Putin hinted that he might try to go beyond the use of conventional weapons in the conflict.
“Those who hope to defeat Russia on the battlefield do not seem to understand that a modern war with Russia will be very different for them,” said the 70-year-old leader.
“We will not send our tanks to your borders, but we have the means to respond. It will not be limited to the use of armored equipment. Everyone must understand this.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to elaborate on Putin’s comments, but told reporters that “as the West delivers new weapons, Russia will make greater use of its potential to respond“.
Putin was in Volgograd to commemorate the anniversary of the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, after which the Soviet army captured nearly 91,000 German soldiers and turned the tide of the war.
More than a million people perished in the battle, the bloodiest of World War II.
“Battle Against Nazism”
Throughout the war in Ukraine, Putin has falsely tried to present the invasion of Russia as a battle against nationalists and the Nazis, who he says lead the Kyiv government.
And he returned to the subject throughout his speech this Thursday.
“Now, unfortunately, we see that the ideology of Nazism, already in its modern form, in its modern manifestation, again creates direct threats to the security of our country“, said.
“Over and over again we have to repel Western aggression.”
He also assured that, although it is “incredible but true” that Russia is once again threatened by German tanks, moscow thas an answer for any country that leither amenace.
Volgograd was temporarily renamed Stalingrad on Thursday to commemorate the end of the battle, and a new bust of former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was unveiled earlier this week.
Stalin, who led the Soviet Union from 1924 to 1953, was accused of orchestrating a famine in the Ukraine between 1932 and 1933.
In the famine, known as the Holodomor to Ukrainians, some 5 million people died.
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