Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the consequences of the defeat in the Great Patriotic War could threaten extermination of the Russian nation.
"If our country suffered a terrible tragedy and we, like many European countries, were defeated, we would face another fate unlike the enslaved countries of the European continent. It would be not only about the existence of our country, it would be about the existence of our people as an ethnic group," Putin said at a commemorative meeting in Kremlin, marking the Victory Day.
After the commemorative meeting, Putin met a group of veterans from Slovenia and congratulated them on the "common celebration of Victory." Former Slovenian President Milan Kucan, who was part of the delegation, marked the honor for Slovenian veterans for being invited to Moscow and thanked Russian President for the invitation.
The Victory Day is celebrated on May 9 in Moscow, as well as in numerous Russian and foreign cities, with a military parade, the "Immortal regiment" march, and is expected to conclude with fireworks.