Russian President Vladimir Putin has evoked the spirit of the Soviet Army to inspire his troops. He says his forces will achieve victory over Ukraine just as their predecessors did over Germany in World War Two. He has suggested he could draw on his entire arsenal, which includes nuclear weapons.
On Thursday, Putin marked the 80th anniversary of the Soviet victory at Stalingrad, now known as Volgograd. He took the opportunity to criticize German leaders for helping to arm Ukrainian troops.
Putin said, "Now, unfortunately, we see that the ideology of Nazism in its modern form and manifestation again directly threatens the security of our country."
He added that it is incredible to see the renewed threat of German tanks with crosses on them.
German leaders agreed last month to supply the Ukrainians with their main battle tanks, the Leopard 2. Some of their allies are sending in their own tanks. However, Putin says the Russians will "repel the aggression" and that their response will not end with armored vehicles.
Russian forces have directed their missiles toward the eastern city of Kramatorsk, which Ukrainian forces have used as a base for operations. One struck an apartment complex on Wednesday, killing 3 people.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, "The enemy is at a specific stage where Russia's strategic defeat is already clear. But, tactically, they still have the resources to attempt offensive actions."
Ukrainian leaders believe they could face a new onslaught. They saw Russian forces start the invasion last year on February 24, and they say the Russians could use the "symbolism" of the date in a push to take all of Donbas.