Putin promises a strong Russia on world stage

May 9, 2012 13:53

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking in Moscow's Red Square with military generals at his side, said he would promote Russia's might on the world stage in a patriotic speech on Wednesday glorifying the Soviet victory over Germany in World War Two.

Two days after being sworn in for a six-year term that has drawn protests against his return to the Kremlin, Putin used the address to troops and war veterans at the annual military parade on Red Square to reinforce appeals for national unity.

Putin faces a battle to reassert himself after the biggest protests since he rose to power in 2000 and the detention of hundreds of protesters this week to keep a lid on dissent.

"Russia consistently follows a policy of strengthening global security and we have a great moral right to stand up determinedly for our positions because our country suffered the blow of Nazism," Putin said on a podium flanked by military chiefs bristling with medals under the Kremlin's red walls.

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