Russia lost the most lives during WW2. So why wasn’t Putin invited to D-Day event?

St. Petersburg, Russia CNN  — 

Among the world leaders who joined Queen Elizabeth II and other heads of state to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, one was conspicuously absent: Russian President Vladimir Putin.

At first glance, that makes sense: The Soviet Union did not take part in Operation Overlord, the massive amphibious invasion that laid the groundwork for the liberation of western Europe in World War II.

But Putin has attended in the past. In 2014, he attended the 70th anniversary of the 1944 Allied landings. Asked on Thursday why he was not invited, Putin dismissed the suggestion that he was deliberately snubbed.

“As to whether I was invited or not, we also do not invite everyone to every event,” Putin said. “Why do I have to be invited everywhere to some event? Am I a wedding general, or what? I have enough of my own business. This is not a problem at all.”

But Putin also used the question to draw attention to a longstanding Russian grievance: The perception that the Soviet population’s massive sacrifices in World War II have been somehow overlooked in the West.

“As for the opening of the Second Front, I draw your attention to the fact that this is the Second Front,” Putin said, referring to the Normandy landings. “The first was with us. If you count the number of divisions, the strength of the Wehrmacht [the German army] who fought against Soviet troops on the Eastern Front, and the number of troops and equipment that fought on the Western Front from 1944 on, then everything will be clear.”