Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed Russia will firmly defend its national interests and denounced the return of "Russophobia" as the country marked the 76th anniversary of victory in World War II.
Putin's speech to thousands of soldiers and veterans in Moscow's Red Square came as recent tensions with the West have recalled the Cold War over the conflict in Ukraine and a litany of spy scandals in Europe.
"The Soviet people kept their sacred oath, defended the homeland and freed the countries of Europe from the black plague," Putin told the crowd.
"Russia consistently defends international law. At the same time, we will firmly defend our national interests to ensure the safety of our people."
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The Russian leader condemned what he called a creeping return of ideologies of the time, when "slogans of racial and national superiority, of anti-semitism and Russophobia, became ever more cynical".
Putin also warned that Nazism remains strong and decried "attempts to rewrite history, to justify traitors and criminals, on whose hands lies the blood of hundreds of thousands of peaceful people.
"Unfortunately, many of the ideologies of the Nazis, those who were obsessed with the delusional theory of their exclusiveness, are again trying to be put into service."
The speech came at the start of an annual parade that sees military hardware roll through the streets of Moscow.
More than 12,000 military personnel took part in Sunday's parade, as well as some 190 pieces of military equipment and 76 fighter jets and helicopters.
Victory Day parades, which only became an annual event after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and have taken on increasing importance in projecting Russia's renewed military might during Putin's two decades in power, also took place Sunday in dozens of cities across the nation.
- additional reporting: AP