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Video: The Ukrainian Red Army vet taking on Putin

Ukrainian Red Army veteran  Ivan Zaluzhniy lost his grandson in the fighting in Donbas
Ukrainian Red Army veteran Ivan Zaluzhniy lost his grandson in the fighting in Donbas FRANCE 24

As Russia marked the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War with a grandiose military parade Saturday, Ukraine is bearing the brunt of renewed aggression from Moscow. It’s also struggling to come to terms with its own internal divisions.

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Many Ukrainian Red Army veterans are still nostalgic for union with Russia. Not Ivan Zaluzhniy. After his grandson was killed on the Donbas front, this hero of the battle of Stalingrad spoke out publicly against Vladimir Putin – and became a media darling in Ukraine in the process.

On Saturday, he travelled to Kiev at the invitation of President Petro Poroshenko to take part in the country’s own, rather more low-key, World War II commemorations.

To watch FRANCE 24’s full report from Ukraine click on the player above.

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