Victory Day – live: Putin claims Ukraine war is to ‘defend motherland’

Russian troops are “defending the motherland” by fighting in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has claimed at a military parade in Moscow.

Speaking on Victory Day, the holiday when the Kremlin marks the Soviet Union’s role in defeating the Nazis in 1945, the country’s president claimed he had ordered the invasion because of the existential posed to Russia by the West. He gave no evidence to support the statement.

“Defending the Motherland when its fate is being decided has always been sacred,” the Russian president said in a direct address to his troops.

“Today you are fighting for our people in Donbas, for the security of Russia, our homeland,” he added, as military hardware rumbled through Moscow’s Red Square.

Elsewhere, British defence minister has accused the Putin regime of “mirroring” the fascism and tyranny of the Nazis. He added that Russian generals were complicit with the crimes of their leader and should be court martialled.

His words follow reports that the Russian bombing of a school in the eastern Ukrainian village of Bilohorivka killed 60 people.

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