Putin, Zelenskyy reshape views of holiday

Russians and Ukrainians used to celebrate their triumph over Nazi Germany together on what is known as Victory Day. But on Tuesday, they found different ways of marking the day.

Russians look upon on Victory Day as their most important secular holiday. Many turn out for a military parade in Red Square. But organizers in Moscow and in other cities were concerned about security. They scaled back some celebrations and cancelled others.

President Vladimir Putin took the opportunity to defend what he calls the "special military operation" and cast the invasion as a struggle for survival. "Today, civilization is once again at a crucial turning point," he said. "A real war has once again been unleashed against our homeland."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen who made a show of support on a visit to Kyiv. He said, from now on, his people will honor other Europeans for their support on what will be called "Europe Day."

Zelenskyy said the time has come to open talks about Ukraine's membership in the EU. The leaders of the bloc have put his country on a path for membership. But they have yet to begin negotiations.