How Putin wrote Britain and US out of defeating the Nazis

Vladimir Putin wrote Britain and the US out of defeating the Nazis in the Second World War in his annual Red Square speech marking Victory Day – by changing a single word.

The Kremlin leader altered his prepared text as he addressed 12,000 troops on the most sacred day in the Russian calendar commemorating the German surrender.

His original text in the official Kremlin transcript described how the Soviet people were ‘united’ in the fight against Hitler.

But he changed ‘united’ to twice use the word ‘alone’, altering the meaning of the passage.

Vladimir Putin wrote Britain and the US out of defeating the Nazis in the Second World War in his annual Red Square speech marking Victory Day – by changing a single word

Vladimir Putin speaks at the Victory Day parade, 2021. His original text in the official Kremlin transcript described how the Soviet people were 'united' in the fight against Hitler

Vladimir Putin speaks at the Victory Day parade, 2021. His original text in the official Kremlin transcript described how the Soviet people were ‘united’ in the fight against Hitler

Victory Day parade in Moscow, 2021. Putin told the massed ranks of his forces and watching foreign diplomats: 'We shall always remember that this noble feat (defeat of the Nazis) was committed precisely by the Soviet people'

Victory Day parade in Moscow, 2021. Putin told the massed ranks of his forces and watching foreign diplomats: ‘We shall always remember that this noble feat (defeat of the Nazis) was committed precisely by the Soviet people’

Putin told the massed ranks of his forces and watching foreign diplomats: ‘We shall always remember that this noble feat (defeat of the Nazis) was committed precisely by the Soviet people.

‘At the most difficult time of war, in decisive battles which determined the outcome of the battle against Fascism, our people was alone – alone in the laborious, heroic and sacrificial path towards victory.’

The earlier version of his words used the word ‘united’ (‘yedin’) rather than ‘alone’ (‘odin’) .

The original text said: ‘At the most difficult time of war, in decisive battles which determined the outcome of the battle against Fascism, our people was united in the laborious, heroic and sacrificial path towards victory.’

Some believe he misspoke but the word switch came amid the highest tension between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.

And he appeared to emphasise the word ‘alone’ by using it twice.

Victory Day parade in Moscow, 2021. 'Putin changed the wording during the speech, and it assumed a completely different meaning,' said Andrei Kolesnikov, head of Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions at the Carnegie Centre think tank in Moscow

Victory Day parade in Moscow, 2021. ‘Putin changed the wording during the speech, and it assumed a completely different meaning,’ said Andrei Kolesnikov, head of Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions at the Carnegie Centre think tank in Moscow

Victory Day parade in Moscow, 2021. Unusually, both Britain and the US were represented at the Moscow parade at deputy ambassador level amid strained relations

Victory Day parade in Moscow, 2021. Unusually, both Britain and the US were represented at the Moscow parade at deputy ambassador level amid strained relations

‘Putin changed the wording during the speech, and it assumed a completely different meaning,’ said Andrei Kolesnikov, head of Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions at the Carnegie Centre think tank in Moscow.

‘The Soviet people were not alone,’ he told Dozhd TV.

‘It assumed the main blow, the main burden of this victory, but there was a second front, after all.

‘There were Britain and the US, to say nothing of the partisan movements in Yugoslavia, Italy and other countries.

‘So this is simply unfair, unjust and – most importantly – incorrect.’

Ahead of the Moscow parade, Russian space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin tweeted a Soviet propaganda image showing wartime leader Stalin striking Hitler, emphasising that it was the USSR that provided the knockout blow to the Nazis.

Unusually, both Britain and the US were represented at the Moscow parade at deputy ambassador level amid strained relations.

Andrei Kolesnikov, the head of the Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions program at the Carnegie Moscow Center

Andrei Kolesnikov, the head of the Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions program at the Carnegie Moscow Center

Usually the wartime allies send ambassadors, or government ministers, to the annual event, and in the past Britain has been represented by royalty.

Most EU countries were represented at ambassadorial level, although ex-Soviet states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia all boycotted the military parade first established by Stalin in 1945.

BBC Monitoring reported: ‘One word in the speech delivered by President Vladimir Putin at the Victory Day parade is different from the originally prepared script, significantly altering the meaning of one passage.’

Casualties in the war amounted to up to 27 million for the USSR, including military and civilian deaths plus those caused by famine and disease, eclipsing the toll suffered by the Soviet Union’s allies against the Nazis.

By comparison, Britain lost around 450,700 and the US some 418,500. 

Russia marked the 76th anniversary of its victory in World War II with an annual Victory Day Parade yesterday. 

President Vladimir Putin vowed in a speech that Russia will ‘firmly’ defend national interests and denounced the return of ‘Russophobia’.

He addressed thousands of soldiers and veterans at Red Square during the start of an annual parade that sees hundred of pieces of military hardware roll through the streets of Moscow.

President Vladimir Putin on Sunday vowed that Russia will 'firmly' defend national interests and denounced the return of 'Russophobia'

President Vladimir Putin on Sunday vowed that Russia will ‘firmly’ defend national interests and denounced the return of ‘Russophobia’

Ceremonial soldiers parade during 76th anniversary of t Victory Day in Red Square in Moscow, Russia on May 9

Ceremonial soldiers parade during 76th anniversary of t Victory Day in Red Square in Moscow, Russia on May 9

Armored vehicles take part in the military parade during 76th anniversary of t Victory Day in Red Square in Moscow, Russia on May 9

Armored vehicles take part in the military parade during 76th anniversary of t Victory Day in Red Square in Moscow, Russia on May 9

‘The Soviet people kept their sacred oath, defended the homeland and freed the countries of Europe from the black plague,’ Putin told the gathered crowd.

‘Russia consistently defends international law. At the same time, we will firmly defend our national interests to ensure the safety of our people,’ he said.

The Russian leader also denounced 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’.

He 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,’ he said, without citing specifics.    

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