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RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin implied today that the US is a major threat to world security in his Victory Day speech in Moscow’s Red Square.
The event marks the anniversary of nazi Germany’s surrender to the Soviet forces in Berlin in 1945.
In his speech, Mr Putin said “pretensions to exceptionalism” — for which he regularly criticises the US — were a factor that drove fascist aggression.
The Russian president has long accused the US of wanting to dominate the world but told crowds that the two world wars “do not let us shut our eyes” to the lessons of history.
"Behind new threats stand the same ugly, old traits — egoism and intolerance, aggressive nationalism and pretensions to exceptionalism," he said in what was viewed as a thinly veiled attack on the US administration.
Mr Putin criticised attempts to “rewrite and distort history” to deny “the feat of the people who saved Europe and the world from slavery, extermination and the horrors of the Holocaust.”
"We will always be proud that the Soviet people did not blink or bend before the cruel enemy, when some states preferred the shame of capitulation," he added.
At least 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians were killed in World War II, more than any other country. Russia often accuses the US and other western countries of downplaying the role of the Red Army and the Soviet people in the victory over fascism.
Victory Day parades and celebrations were held in several former Soviet republics, with a statement from the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) hailing the “heroic resistance” against fascism.
“The Red Army and the armed people resisted the conquest of every block, every street, every house, every room. Workers’ militias were formed,” it said.
The WFTU said the surrender of nazi Germany to the Soviets was “a decisive strategic victory for the future of mankind” that changed the balance of forces in favour of workers, boosting national liberation movements.
Victory over fascism paved the way for the founding of the WFTU in October 1945, it said.
However, it warned of the threat of a new world war as “US imperialism and its Nato allies” promote conflict across the globe, creating conditions that help “fascism and intolerance grow in various forms.”
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