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Putin pledges to 'firmly defend' Russia's 'national interests'

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

Updated: May 9, 2021 - 1:06pm

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday pledged that Russia will "firmly defend" its "national interests," and he decried the return of "Russophobia" as the nation recognized the 76th anniversary of victory in World War II.

"Russia consistently defends international law. At the same time, we will firmly defend our national interests to ensure the safety of our people," Putin said, according to AFP.

Putin denounced what he what he described as a creeping resurgence of ideologies of that period, when "slogans of racial and national superiority, of anti-semitism and Russophobia, became ever more cynical," according to the report. 

The speech comes amid heightened tensions between Russia and the West, particularly over Russian troop movements near Ukraine, along with ongoing conflict about Crimea and the Donbas region of Ukraine.

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