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Official website of the President of Russia

Transcripts   /

Speech at gala concert to mark the 69th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War and 70th anniversary of the liberation of Sevastopol from Nazis

May 9, 2014, Sevastopol

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, residents of Sevastopol and Crimea,

Happy Victory Day!

This year, the celebration is special: it marks exactly 70 years since Crimea was liberated from Nazi invaders. And we are holding the celebration during an absolutely historical event: the reunification of Crimea and Sevastopol with Russia.

We are proud of your courage and bravery, and we respect the way you have kept your love of the Fatherland through the years and generations. And now, the Fatherland is embracing you once again as family, as daughters and sons.

We have great respect for all nations and all peoples. We respect their lawful rights and interests, but we ask for others to have the same respect for our lawful interests, including the restoration of historic justice and the right to self-determination.

Friends, we have done a great deal, but even more remains to be done. During non-celebratory, work days, we will need to revive the economy, improve people’s living standards, and do a great deal of other useful and necessary things. This is a difficult challenge, but I am sure we will do all this, because we are together.

My friends, I embrace you. Happy Victory Day!

May 9, 2014, Sevastopol