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Putin: “We’re being threatened again with German tanks”


Commemorating the Battle of Stalingrad, Russia’s President Putin compared the situation today to that of World War II: Russia is again being threatened by German tanks. He warned against intervening in the Ukraine war.

By Stephan Laack, ARD Studio Moscow, currently Cologne

Commemorations of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad began in the morning with wreath-laying and a military parade. On the central square of Volgograd, as Stalingrad is now called, soldiers of different arms were marched up. Some companies took part in the parade in historical uniforms. Old veterans watched the events from a grandstand – modern military vehicles as well as T34 tanks from the Second World War rolled through the streets, which were lined by thousands of people. A minute’s silence commemorated the up to two million victims.

In the afternoon, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Volgograd and first laid a wreath in the hall of the colossal statue “Motherland”. A little later he gave a short speech to veterans, military personnel and public figures.

With a petrified expression and visibly charged, Putin quickly got to the point. The Kremlin boss compared the situation today with the Second World War: Russia is again threatened by the ideology of Nazism.

“Everyone should understand that”

Putin made a direct connection to the Battle of Stalingrad and explicitly addressed the German government’s decision to deliver “Leopard” tanks to Ukraine: “Incredible. Unbelievable, but fact. We’re being threatened again with German tanks – the “Leopard”. Tanks decorated with iron crosses. And they want to fight Russia again on Ukrainian soil with the help of Hitler’s successors.”

By this, Putin meant the supposedly Ukrainian nationalists who, according to the Russian account, are said to be a threat to Russia.

Putin warned those who would try to push European countries – including Germany – into war with Russia. It is a mistake to think that Russia can be defeated on the battlefield. A modern war would be different, according to Putin: “We don’t send our tanks to their borders. But we have something we can use to reply. And the matter doesn’t end with the use of armored vehicles. Everyone should understand that.”

80 years of Stalingrad – Putin sees Russia threatened by German tanks again

Stephan Laack, ARD Moscow, 2/2/2023 5:03 p.m