FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in the signing ceremony of the general agreement between the All-Russian unions of trade unions, employers and the government of the Russian Federation, via a video conference call, at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia March 31, 2021. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

President Vladimir Putin, has stressed the protection of Russia’s national interests on the 76th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Hitler’s Germany.

“Russia consistently defends international law,’’ the Kremlin leader said on Sunday during a large military parade with some 12,000 participants in Moscow.

“At the same time, we will steadfastly defend our national interests and ensure the security of our people.’’

Putin once again warned against attempts to falsify history and attempts to relativise the actions of “traitors and criminals.’’

Thousands of soldiers marched across Red Square afterwards in icy winds and cloudy skies.

Tanks and fighter planes were also presented.

All participants in the parade had been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to official reports.

Victory Day is one of the most important holidays in Russia.

According to historians, the Soviet Union suffered around 27 million casualties during World War II.

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