“Today, our soldiers, as their ancestors, are fighting side by side to liberate their native land from the Nazi filth with the confidence that, as in 1945, victory will be ours,” said Putin, who sent Russian troops into Ukraine in February.
“Today, it is our common duty to prevent the rebirth of Nazism which caused so much suffering to the peoples of different countries,” said Putin. He added he hoped “new generations may be worthy of the memory of their fathers and grandfathers”.
He also said he wished “all Ukraine’s inhabitants a peaceful and just future”.
On Monday, Moscow will officially commemorate victory over Nazi Germany with a giant military parade.
Russia is getting ready to hold its annual military parade in Moscow’s Red Square and in cities across Russia, marking victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.
The event is a showpiece for Russia’s military – expect to see troops, tanks, rockets and ballistic missiles paraded through the capital in a display of the Kremlin’s strength.
But this year’s parade comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has faltered, with its military now focusing on battles in the east of the country after failing to take the capital Kyiv and other major cities.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is due to speak at the event in Red Square in a few hours.
It is Russia’s biggest public holiday and recognises the defeat of Nazi Germany by the USSR.
Under Vladimir Putin, Victory Day has become a show of strength of troops and military hardware, as well as a chance to remember the sacrifices of World War Two.