Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts a Kremlin reception for veterans and visiting foreign dignitaries to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the victory in WW2. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted on Saturday a reception in the Kremlin for veterans and foreign delegations as the country celebrated the 70th anniversary of the victory in World War Two. Putin entered the hall accompanied by the President of China Xi Jinping and the President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev. Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan and Russian Prime-Minister Dmitry Medvedev were also took their seats at the tables, surrounded by veterans and officials. "I sincerely congratulate you on the day of the great victory, on the day of glory and strength of Russia, on the celebration that elevates our spirit," Putin said. Putin has used the anniversary to whip up patriotism and fuel anti-Western sentiment, warning that fascism could be on the rise again and suggesting other countries are rewriting history to play down Moscow's role in winning the war. Many Russians regarded the West's boycotting of the parade as disrespect. An estimated 27 million Soviet citizens were killed during the 1941-45 war. The guest list at the anniversary events in Russia, including major Asian allies India and China, former Soviet republics and communist-era allies such as Cuba, has underlined Russia's role as an outcast in Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel skipped the parade, as did U.S. President Barack Obama and the French and British leaders, but will attend a wreath-laying ceremony in Moscow on Sunday .