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A fighter fly-past returned to Russia’s World War II commemorations, where President Vladimir V. Putin permitted himself a single reference to his “special military operation.”

The ballistic missiles rolled through Red Square, the fighter jets zipped overhead and rows of foreign dignitaries impassively looked on. Russia’s annual commemoration of the end of World War II presented a traditional ceremony on Thursday cherished by millions of Russians, a reflection of President Vladimir V. Putin’s broader attempts to project normalcy while resigning the population to a prolonged, distant war.

At last year’s Victory Day celebration, as Russia struggled on the battlefield, Mr. Putin said the country was engaged in a “real war” for survival, and accused Western elites of seeking the “disintegration and annihilation of Russia.” On Thursday, he merely referred to the war in Ukraine once, using his initial euphemism for the invasion, “special military operation.”

And on Russia’s most important secular holiday, he dedicated more time to the sacrifices of Soviet citizens in World War II than to the bashing of modern adversaries.

Still, he did not ignore those adversaries entirely, reviving familiar criticisms and grievances about what he says are attempts to undermine Russia and accusing the West of “hypocrisy and lies.”

“Revanchism, abuse of history, attempts to excuse modern heirs of the Nazis — these are all parts of the policies used by the Western elites to spark more and more new regional conflicts,” Mr. Putin said in an eight-minute address.

The ceremony itself was slightly more expansive than last year’s bare-bones procedure, a sign of a nation that has recovered from the initial shock of the war and currently holds the advantage on the battlefield in Ukraine.

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