Russia invades Ukraine: Putin defends invasion as Moscow celebrates 'Victory Day Parade'

Russia invades Ukraine: Putin defends invasion as Moscow celebrates 'Victory Day Parade'
The New Arab is providing live updates of what's been happening on the ground and additional analysis on the conflict's significance. 
9 min read
09 May, 2022
Putin evoked the memory of Soviet heroism in World War Two to urge his army towards victory in Ukraine [source: Getty]

President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Russian forces in Ukraine were defending the Motherland from an "absolutely unacceptable threat," as he opened the annual parade marking Moscow's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Red Square was filled with thousands of troops and members of the public who gathered at the military parade. 

During a short speech, Putin condemned what he called external threats to weaken and split Russia, and repeated familiar arguments he used to justify its invasion of Ukraine - that NATO was creating threats right next to its borders.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has said it is Russia that is staging a "bloody re-enactment of Nazism" in Ukraine.

During Russia's now three-month invasion, millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes and thousands of soldiers have been killed. 

The New Arab is providing live updates of what's been happening on the ground and additional analysis on the conflict's significance. 

Follow TwitterFacebook and Instagram for more updates.

5:44 PM
The New Arab Staff

The New Arab's live coverage of the latest from the Russian invasion of Ukraine concludes for the day. 

Here were the key developments: 

Putin defends invasion during "Victory Day Parade" in Moscow 

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his highly anticipated Victory Day speech at a giant military parade in Moscow.

He said he had no choice but to send troops into Ukraine to defend the Russian "Motherland" from an "absolutely unacceptable threat".

Ukraine's President says 'we will win' following Putin's parade 

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said he will not allow the Soviet Union's victory over the Nazis to be "appropriated" by Putin.

"We are proud of our ancestors who together with other nations in the anti-Hitler coalition defeated Nazism. And we will not allow anyone to annex this victory. We will not allow it to be appropriated," he said.

He compared the Russian invasion to the Nazi occupation of parts of present-day Ukraine, vowing, "We won then. We will win now."

Russian general 'should be court martialled,' says UK defence secretary 

Britain's Defence Secretary Ben Wallace slammed what he calls the "absurdity" of Russian generals as they flanked Putin at the Victory Day parade "resplendent in their manicured parade uniforms and weighed down by their many medals".

He said "all professional soldiers should be appalled at the behaviour of the Russian Army".

"Not only are they engaged in an illegal invasion and war crimes but their top brass failed their own rank and file to the extent they should be court martialled."

Russia is using 'ageing' munitions

As the conflict in Ukraine drags on, Russia's stockpiles of precision-guided munitions are likely being depleted, leaving it reliant on "ageing" munitions that are less accurate, Britain's military intelligence said.

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine has revealed shortcomings in its ability to conduct precision strikes at scale," the defence ministry said in a note.

Macron warns not to humiliate Russia 

Macron said peace efforts will not be served by Russia's "humiliation".

"Tomorrow we'll have a peace to build, let's never forget that," he told reporters in Strasbourg.

"The terms of the discussion and negotiation will be set by Ukraine and Russia, but that will not be done through... the exclusion of one another, nor even in their humiliation."

Thank you for following the live blog. 

Make sure to follow our TwitterFacebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the latest news and analysis.

4:50 PM
The New Arab Staff

UN Human Rights Council to hold session on Ukraine 

The UN Human Rights Council announced it will convene a special session on Thursday to address alleged Russian human rights violations during its war in Ukraine.

More than 50 countries on Monday backed a request from Kyiv and demanded an extraordinary meeting of the UN's top rights body to examine "the deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression".

Yevheniia Filipenko, Ukraine's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said it would send a strong signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin about Moscow's international isolation.


4:48 PM
The New Arab Staff

EU chief to meet Orban amid Russian oil ban row 

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen was headed to Hungary on Monday to meet Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is holding up Brussels' plans for an embargo on Russian oil.

"They will discuss issues related to European security of energy supply," von der Leyen's spokesman Eric Mamer said.

Landlocked Hungary relies on Russian oil from a single pipeline and Orban has warned he cannot approve the European Commission's proposed sixth package of EU sanctions against Moscow.

'Hungary will not vote for the EU Commission's initiative,' Orban has previously Tweeted
2:45 PM

'Sigh of relief' after Putin doesn't use speech to escalate war

One of the BBC's chief correspondents, Frank Gardner, said on Monday: "There will be a collective sigh of relief in much of the world that Putin did not, as was feared, use [his speech] to escalate the war in Ukraine". 

Putin addressed thousands of troops and members of the public in Red Square to mark Moscow's "Victory Day". 

Gardner said there was a disconnect between the military grandeur of the parade in Red Square and Moscow's defeats across Ukraine. 

2:41 PM
The New Arab Staff

EU considers sending more funds to eastern European states 

The European Commission is considering offering landlocked Eastern European Union states more money to upgrade oil infrastructure in a bid to convince them to agree to an embargo on Russian oil, an EU source told Reuters.

The measures are part of a wider package of new sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

The adoption of the legal text still needs an agreement on the size of the investment, a source said, adding another sticking point was Cyprus's concerns about a proposed ban on the sale of real estate to Russians.

1:52 PM
The New Arab Staff

Belarus leader says West 'at war with Russia' in Ukraine 

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a key ally of Moscow, on Monday accused the West of supporting Nazi ideas and of being "at war with Russia" in Ukraine.

"Followers of the Nazis are obsessed with the idea of revenge, but they are not ready to fight openly against the heirs of the Soviet people," Lukashenko said at a speech on Victory Day, an annual holiday in Russia and other ex-Soviet countries to mark the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.

"That's why they are flooding Ukraine with weapons, waging war on memorials, symbols and veterans," he said.

Lukashenko accused 'Western elites' of elevating 'Nazism' [source: Getty]
1:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

Serbs stage pro-Russia marches on "Victory Day" 

Pro-Russia marches were staged in Serbia and the Serb-run entity in Bosnia — both traditional allies of Moscow in the Balkans — amid ceremonies on Monday to mark the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

Serbia organised military jet flyovers and officials laid wreaths as part of the celebrations.

A Serbian cabinet minister and Russia’s ambassador to Serbia joined dozens of people in the Moscow-backed march in Belgrade, an annual event mirroring the one held in Russia to honour WWII victims.

Marchers carried a cardboard figure of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a big ‘Z’ sign symbolizing support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

1:00 PM
The New Arab Staff

Kyiv condemns decision by German police to confiscate Ukraine flag


Kyiv has condemned Berlin's "mistake" after German police confiscate a giant Ukrainian flag displayed by demonstrators at the Soviet War Memorial in the German capital.

Police say it was to ensure that a World War Two commemoration ceremony stayed peaceful after a ban on displays of flags or military symbols at 15 memorial sites across Berlin.

12:58 PM
The New Arab Staff

Fighters in Mariupol steelworks vow to fight on


Ukrainian forces in the sprawling Azovstal steelworks in the Russian-controlled city of Mariupol - the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in the devastated port city - have vowed to fight on.

Ukraine said all women, children and elderly civilians have been evacuated from Azovstal as part of a UN and Red Cross humanitarian mission.

Mariupol has been devastated by Russian bombing [source: Getty]
12:03 PM
The New Arab Staff

Russia-Ukraine talks continue remotely 

Russian chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said on Monday that peace talks with Ukraine had not stopped and were being held remotely. 

Moscow accused Kyiv of stalling the talks and using reports of atrocities committed by Russian troops in Ukraine to undermine negotiations. 

Asked when-in person talks might be held with Ukrainian negotiators, Medinsky said: "We need more specifics on hand in order to meet in person."

Ukraine and Russia have not held face-to-face peace talks since March 29, though they have met by video link.

11:59 AM
The New Arab Staff

Russian ambassador to Poland painted red 

The Russian ambassador to Poland was painted red in a protest against the invasion of Ukraine

The ambassador, Sergey Andreyev, was visiting a memorial when he was surrounded by anti-war protesters.

The protesters threw red paint at him and his security while chanting and waving Ukrainian flags. 

11:58 AM
The New Arab Staff

Four missiles hit Odessa area in southern Ukraine, says Ukrainian military 

Ukraine's military said on Monday that four high-precision Onyx missiles fired from the Russian-controlled Crimea peninsula had struck the Odesa area in southern Ukraine, but gave no other details.

11:55 AM
The New Arab Staff

Putin 'mirroring fascism' of 77 years ago, says British Defence Secretary

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his generals are mirroring the fascism and tyranny of 77 years ago and their invasion of Ukraine dishonours its military past, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on Monday.

Wallace was speaking as Putin addressed the massed ranks of service personnel on Red Square on the anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany, evoking the memory of Soviet heroism to urge his army towards victory in Ukraine.

'For Putin there can be no victory day, only dishonour,' said Wallace [Getty]
9:19 AM
The New Arab Staff

Kyiv rebuffs Russian claims its fighting "Nazis" in Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine would not allow Russia to appropriate victory in World War II, speaking on the anniversary of the Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany.

"Today we celebrate Victory Day over Nazism. We are proud of our ancestors who together with other nations in the anti-Hitler coalition defeated Nazism. And we will not allow anyone to annex this victory. We will not allow it to be appropriated," the Ukrainian leader said.

Zelensky listed several Ukrainian towns and cities currently under the control of invading Russian forces, saying that Ukrainians during World War II had ousted Nazi Germany's forces from these regions.

"The names of these cities inspire us today. They give us faith that we will drive the occupiers from our land," Zelensky said in the video address, listing Mariupol, Kherson, and the Crimean peninsula by name.

'We won then. We will win now,' the Ukrainian president said [source: Getty]
9:17 AM
The New Arab Staff

Putin evokes World War Two triumphs at military parade 

Russian President Vladimir Putin evoked the memory of Soviet heroism in World War Two on Monday to urge his army towards victory in Ukraine.

He directly addressed soldiers fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine which Russia has pledged to "liberate" from Kyiv.

"Defending the Motherland when its fate is being decided has always been sacred," he said. "Today you are fighting for our people in Donbas, for the security of Russia, our homeland."

Putin's 11-minute speech on day 75 of the invasion offered no assessment of progress in the war and gave no indication of how long it might continue.