Vladimir Putin is addressing the Red Square in a speech marking Russia’s Victory Day, which celebrates the anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.
He is joined by leaders of several former Soviet republics.
Follow the latest updates below
Putin: ‘Real war’ has been unleashed on Russia
Vladimir Putin says a “real war has been unleashed against Russia”, writes Nataliya Vasilyeva.
The Russian president in a speech addressing the annual Victory Parade in Moscow likened the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union to Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine
He said the war in Ukraine has placed the global community “at a breaking point”.
Victory Day Parade in pictures:
Victory Day parade begins
Russian President Vladimir Putin walked from the Kremlin on to Red Square to be greeted by mass ranks of military personnel as the start of a Victory Day celebrations to mark the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War Two.
State television showed Putin positioned next to World War II veterans on Red Square where thousands of Russian army personnel in ceremonial uniform gathered to march to the accompaniment of a military brass band.
Victory Day is one of the most important public holidays in Russia, when people commemorate the huge sacrifices made by the Soviet Union during what is called the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45, in which around 27 million citizens perished.
This anniversary is even more emotionally charged as Russia mourns thousands of soldiers killed in the nearly 15-month war in Ukraine which shows no sign of ending.
Six post-Soviet leaders to attend military parade
At least six post-Soviet leaders including the prime minister of Armenia and the president of Kazakhstan are expected to attend the military parade that fetes the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.
Political analyst Arkady Dubnov said that “for the first time in many years” Putin will be surrounded at a Victory Day parade by a number of post-Soviet leaders.
“Despite the serious weakening of its global positions after February 24, 2022, Russia remains to a certain extent the metropolis of a former empire whose actions have to be taken into account,” Mr Dubnov said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that “all necessary measures” were being taken to ensure the safety of the leaders.
Pictured: Putin at Victory Day Parade in Moscow
Putin arrives in Red Square
Vladimir Putin has arrived at Red Square in Moscow for the Victory Day parade.
The Russian president is set to address thousands of troops standing at attention in Moscow’s Red Square amid ramped-up security.
EU chief Von der Leyen marks ‘Europe Day’ in Kyiv
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen has arrived in Kyiv to mark the Europe Day celebration of peace and unity, as Ukraine delivered a symbolic retort to Moscow’s Victory Day parade.
The president of the European Commission travelled on an overnight train from Poland to see President Volodymyr Zelensky and work on Ukraine’s quest for eventual EU membership, a reporter on the train said.
Good to be back in Kyiv.
Where the values we hold dear are defended everyday.
So it is such a fitting place to celebrate the day of Europe.
I welcome President @ZelenskyyUa‘s decision to make 9 May Europe Day also here in Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/MEGOEfgyIq
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) May 9, 2023
The Ukrainian leader has decreed that May 9 would be celebrated in his country as Europe Day, as it is in Brussels, spurning the martial Victory Day tradition of the former Soviet Union.
Kim Jong Un says Russia ‘will prevail’ over hostile forces
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Russia “will prevail” in its fight against what he described as “imperialists,” state news agency KCNA said, in remarks seen to be aimed at Ukraine and its Western supporters, such as the United States.
North Korea has forged closer ties with the Kremlin and backed Moscow after it invaded Ukraine last year, including its proclamation later of having annexed parts of Ukraine that most U.N. members condemned as illegal.
“We send warm wishes to you, the Russian army and the people of Russia for their holy fight to preserve world peace,” the agency quoted Kim as telling Russian President Vladimir Putin in a letter.
Kim also congratulated Putin on Tuesday’s Victory Day anniversary that celebrates the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany, saying Russia would continue to protect its “autonomy” and the “stability of the region”.
Ukraine in pictures:
Ukraine war ‘driving rise of tuberculosis’
Senior United Nations officials and activists have demanded that the world invest more to develop new vaccines and tackle a surge in tuberculosis fueled by Covid-19 and the conflict in Ukraine.
Dr Lucica Ditiu, executive director of the Stop TB Partnership, told a press conference at the UN that the war is having “a huge impact” on efforts to treat people with TB and diagnose new cases.
Ukraine has the highest number of estimated people with TB in the European region – 34,000 – and also a high number with drug-resistant TB, Dr Ditiu said.
“It’s remarkable, the fact that the Ukrainian people are actually showing an amazing resilience in doing their best to maintain the services for TB,” Dr Ditiu said. “But obviously a lot of people left the country.”
Nonetheless, she said, major efforts have been made to track down those with the disease, and a key priority remains to ensure that people in Ukraine have access to treatment.
Tuberculosis is the biggest infectious disease killer in the world today, taking the lives of around 4,400 people every day around the world including 700 children.
No Black Sea grain ships inspected in past two days
The United Nations said no ships were inspected on Sunday or Monday under a deal allowing the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine grain, which Moscow has threatened to quit on May 18 over obstacles to its own grain and fertiliser exports.
Officials from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations make up a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul, which implements the Black Sea deal agreed in July.
Ukraine has been putting forward daily a list of ships to be authorised.
Ukraine has told the JCC that 62 vessels are waiting to travel to Ukrainian ports, of which eight have been put forward for authorisation by the JCC, the UN said on Monday.
The JCC has not agreed to any new authorisations for the past several days.
Russia launches fresh attack on Kyiv
Russia bombarded Kyiv with about 15 cruise missiles on Tuesday morning, the second attack in as many days, with air defence systems shooting all of them down, officials said.
“As at the front, the plans of the aggressor failed,” Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv’s city military administration, said in comments posted on Telegram .
“(They) try to kill as many civilians as possible – on this day.”
According to preliminary information, there were no casualties in the attack that was carried out with cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea region.
Kyiv’s Mayor Vitalii Klitschko said falling debris fell on a house in the Holosiivskyi district in the southwest of Kyiv.
In the often-targeted Shevchenkivskyi district of central Kyiv, debris was found on a road.
“Kyiv stood up again and will stand up in the future,” Mr Popko said.
Zelensky branded ‘traitor’ for moving Victory Day
The Kremlin has branded Volodymyr Zelensky a “traitor” after his decision to move the day that his country marks the allied victory over Nazi Germany.
Mr Zelensky on Monday annoyed Russia by changing the day it commemorates the war to May 8, aligning it with Western nations in a repudiation of its Soviet past.
“May our victory over the current evil of Rashism be the best way to honour the memory of those who fought against and defeated Nazism,” Mr Zelensky said in his nightly address, using a commonly used term in Ukraine to denote “Russian fascism”.
Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said Mr Zelenskiy was a “traitor” and said he had betrayed the memory of Ukrainians who died fighting the Nazis.
Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, suffered higher per-capita casualties than Russia in the Second World War and was home to a significant Jewish population that was wiped out in the Holocaust.
On the day of Russia’s parade, Mr Zelensky will underscore Ukraine’s ambition to join the West by receiving European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Ukraine shells Belgorod region
Ukrainian forces shelled the Belgorod region on Russia’s border with Ukraine on Monday, injuring at least five people and damaging houses and power lines, the region’s governor said.
The town of Shebekino in southern Belgorod was shelled three times, injuring five, governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Telegram. At least five other settlements also came under fire, he said.
Late on Monday, Russia’s air defence systems shot down a drone over the town of Valuyki, Mr Gladkov said. There was no immediate information on casualties and destruction, but emergency services were working on the site.
Air raid alerts sound across Ukraine
Ukraine’s air defence systems were repelling Russian attacks on Kyiv, the country’s military administration said early on Tuesday, after air raid alerts sounded across the country.
“Air defence systems are working on the outskirts of Kyiv,” the administration said on Telegram.
Tuesday’s attacks came a day after Russia launched its biggest drone swarm yet in a renewed air campaign unleashed 10 days ago after a lull since early March.
Putin set to rally support for his war
Putin will today deliver a speech in the Red Square, where he will be joined by leaders of several former Soviet republics.
Like last year, he is likely to compare the fighting in Ukraine with the Second World War in a bid to whip up support for his war.
In last year’s address he made few direct mentions of the invasion of Ukraine but called on Russians to live up to the bravery of their ancestors.
“The defence of her homeland, when her fate was being decided, has always been sacred,” he said.
“With such feelings of genuine patriotism, they rose for the fatherland, militiamen of Minim and Pozharsky, went on the attack in the Borodino field, fought with the enemy near Moscow and Leningrad, Putin and Minsk, Stalingrad and Kurs, Sevastopol and Kharkov.”
“Now, these days, you are fighting for our people in the Donbas, for the security of our homeland – Russia.”
Last year Putin attacked Nato for expanding towards Russia’s borders and hailed Soviet heroism in resisting Hitler. Since then, Finland – which borders Russia – has also joined Nato.
He said: “Nato is actively pursuing our territory. That is absolutely unacceptable to us. We are talking about neo-Nazis in Ukraine that the US and its partners are working with.”
Welcome to today’s live blog
Vladimir Putin is set to preside over Victory Day celebrations overshadowed by Russia’s battlefield failures in Ukraine.
We will bring you the latest updates as they happen today.
Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.