State flags of Russia and North Korea fly in a street in Vladivostok


  • North Korea's Kim Jong-Un praised Russia's "heroism and self-sacrificing spirit"
  • Kim said Russia and Vladimir Putin would be victorious in their efforts to defend sovereignty
  • Putin marked Russia's muted Victory Day celebrations, saying a "real war" has begun

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has praised Russia, its closest ally, on the occasion of the 78th anniversary of Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II.

The North Korean dictator released the statement against the backdrop of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According to North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim commended Russia for achieving "a great victory in the great war of justice to annihilate fascism that threatened the destiny of mankind by displaying matchless heroism and self-sacrificing spirit."

Kim believes that Russia, under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, would continue to prevail despite the international community turning against the former Soviet Union.

"I believe that the tenacious and just Russian people will, under your leadership, continue to achieve victory in the future, too, in their efforts to ensure sovereignty and dignity of the country and stability of the region, destroying all sorts of challenges and threat of the hostile forces," Kim said, according to KCNA Watch.

On Monday, Putin led Russia's muted Victory Day celebrations by comparing the ongoing war in Ukraine to the country's fight against Nazism in the Second World War.

"A real war has again been unleashed against our homeland," Putin said, Reuters reported.

Putin said the Russian people "support our heroes," referencing the Russian troops deployed on the Ukrainian battlefield.

"Everyone is ready to help, praying for you," the Russian president said.

Some Russians, who went to Moscow to commemorate the country's victory, have expressed confidence that they would win against Ukraine.

Giya Merkeliya, a 55-year-old driver who came to the Russian capital to watch the celebrations, said he is "waiting for victory" in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Roman Gulydov, a 46-year-old aviation worker, said the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is a "continuation" of World War II.

Gulydov has also expressed his intent to join the fight if he had to, saying, "If the motherland calls, then no step back, only forward."

Russia has scaled back its Victory Day festivities this year after Kremlin was targeted by an alleged drone attack in an attempt to assassinate Putin.

Kremlin immediately accused Ukraine of orchestrating the drone attack against Putin, but Kyiv denied the accusations.

According to the Wall Street Journal, at least 20 Russian cities have canceled parades and other public activities following the incident.

Between 1941 and 1945, the then-Soviet Union, which included Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, lost 27 million people in what they call the "Great Patriotic War" against the Nazis.

In April 1945, the Soviet Red Army launched a major counteroffensive against the Nazis, which led to the fall of Germany's capital Berlin, and pushed Adolf Hitler to commit suicide.

Following Hitler's death and defeat in Berlin, Nazi Germany offered an unconditional surrender to the Allied Forces. It came into force on the evening of May 8, 1945, but in Moscow, it was already May 9.

Victory Day Parade in Moscow