Russian President Vladimir Putin has kicked off his Victory Day speech in Moscow's Red Square, telling Russian fighters that they are now fighting for Russia's security.

He congratulated the veterans on the day of the "great victory".

Victory Day celebrates the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in World War II, reports Telegrafi.

Speaking about the current situation in Ukraine, Putin said that Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine - what the Kremlin calls occupation - was a necessary and "timely" measure.

He says it was the "right decision" of an independent, strong and sovereign country.

The Russian president has stated that over the past year there have been tensions with other European countries and NATO.

He says Russia "asked Europe to find a fair compromise, but they did not want to listen to us", and stressed that they were preparing a punitive operation in Donbas, in eastern Ukraine, in the area where he said Russia's operations are focused.

"In Kiev they said they could get nuclear weapons and NATO started exploring the lands near us and this became a visible threat to our country and our borders.

"Everything showed us that there is a need to fight."

/ Telegraphy /