On the occasion of his greetings on May 8, Russian President Vladimir Putin assured that “as in 1945, victory will be ours,” multiplying comparisons between the Second World War and the conflict in Ukraine.
He made the comments on Sunday in a message to former Soviet-bloc countries and the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine.
"Today our military, like their ancestors, are fighting shoulder to shoulder for the liberation of their homeland from Nazi filth, with the confidence that, as in 1945, victory will be ours," said Vladimir Putin. The Russian president added that "Unfortunately, today, Nazism raises its head again", in a passage directed at Ukrainians.
“Our sacred duty is to prevent the ideological heirs of those who were defeated” in what Moscow calls the “Great Patriotic War”, from “taking their revenge”.
Meanwhile, 60 people sheltering in a school in Luhansk region are missing in a Russian strike on the building.
“The bombs hit the school and, unfortunately, it was completely destroyed,” the governor said on his Telegram account, as quoted by Le Monde. “There were a total of ninety people. Twenty-seven were saved (…). Sixty people who were in the school are most likely dead,” the governor says.
That same day the Ukrainian military entrenched for many weeks in the underground galleries of the huge Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol announced on Sunday that they would not surrender.
“Capitulation is not an option because Russia is not interested in our lives. Leaving us alive does not matter to them,” said Ilya Samoilenko, a Ukrainian intelligence officer during a press conference broadcast by video.
“All our food is limited. We have water left. We have ammunition left. We will have our weapons with us. We will fight until the best outcome of this situation,” he added from the basement of the industrial site.
“We have about 200 wounded here. We have a lot of wounded, people we can’t leave here. We can’t leave our injured, our dead, these people deserve proper treatment, they deserve a proper burial. We will not leave anyone behind,” he continued.
“We, military personnel of the Mariupol garrison, have witnessed the war crimes committed by Russia, by the Russian army. We are the witnesses”, added Ilya Samoilenko, who spoke sometimes Ukrainian and sometimes English during the conference.