As Russian President Vladimir Putin attends World War II commemorations in southern Russia, on the 80th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in Stalingrad, Europe continues to support Ukraine in the war against Russian invaders.
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen is in Kyiv ahead of Friday's Ukraine summit.
The European Commission chief is in Kyiv with a team of commissioners and the bloc's most senior diplomat Josep Borrell.
"We are here together to show that the EU stands by Ukraine as firmly as ever. And to deepen further our support and cooperation," she wrote in a tweet.
In recent weeks, Von der Leyen has said that Europe must prevail in the face of Russia's aggression and that unprecedented EU sanctions have left its economy facing a "decade of regression".
Last week, the French Foreign Ministry denied that France or its allies were fighting a war against Russia, following a Western decision to send heavy tanks to Ukraine.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that the European Union and specifically the European Commission chief had called for Russia to be defeated so its economy would be devastated for decades.
"Is this not racism, not Nazism - not an attempt to solve "the Russian question" Lavrov added, evoking Russia's victory against Nazi Germany in World War II.
Russia saves Europe from Hitler
The Battle of Stalingrad, which turned the tide of World War II 80 years ago when German forces capitulated to the Red Army, remains a powerful symbol of patriotism in Russia.
The fighting raged for more than six months in 1942 and 1943 before the Russians defeated Nazi soldiers trapped in the ruined city in the depths of winter.
By the time it was over, on 2 February 1943, between one and two million people had died.
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The first-ever surrender by the Nazis was glorified in Russia as the event that rescued Europe from Adolf Hitler.
Russian president Putin has frequently drawn parallels between what he calls Moscow's "special military operation" in Ukraine and the Soviet war against Nazi Germany.
The Russian leader launched his invasion in Ukraine in February last year, saying Russia needed to "de-Nazify" the country.
Betraying De Gaulle's testament
Support for the Russian version of history has apparently come from one unlikely source.
Visiting Moscow, where he is attending a conference on historical memory and the Second World War, Pierre de Gaulle, grandson of wartime hero Charles de Gaulle, has been widely cited as a critic of Europe's intervention on the side of Kyiv.
According to official news agency editorialist, Elena Karaeva, De Gaulle's grandson has had the courage to raise the alarm on the dangers of Europe continuing to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine, an action which could lead the entire world to the brink of disaster.