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Russia celebrates victory in World War II as Putin accuses the West of fueling global conflicts


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MOSCOW — Russia on Thursday wrapped itself in patriotic pageantry for Victory Day, as President Vladimir Putin celebrated the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II by hailing his forces fighting in Ukraine and blasting the West for fueling conflicts around the world.

Even though few veterans of what Russia calls the Great Patriotic War are still alive 79 years after Berlin fell to the Red Army, the victory remains the most important and widely revered symbol of Russia’s prowess and a key element of national identity.