Russia joined WW1 because it had to protect Serbia - Putin

MOSCOW -- The tragedy of the Great War is a reminder of the consequences of aggression, egotism, and excessive ambition taking precedence over common sense.

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This is what Vladimir Putin said in Moscow on Friday during a ceremony to honor the First World War Heroes.

"Instead of guarding the safest continent in the world, Europe, they put it in danger,," the Russian leader said, Itar-Tass reported.

"We should not forget that today. We should learn to see at least one step ahead," he said, adding that "violence begets violence," while "a path to peace and prosperity rests on goodwill and dialogue, and memory and lessons of past wars. And about who and why started them."

"On the even of the First World War Russia did everything to resolve the conflict between Serbia and Austria-Hungary peacefully, without bloodshed. But Russia was not listened to. As a result Russia had to answer the challenge to defend the brotherly Slavic people," Putin said.