Reuters reports President Vladimir Putin accused Washington on Thursday of putting pressure on some world leaders not to attend events in Russia marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe. Russia will stage a military parade on May 9 in what Putin called a display of "respect for victims of Nazis and to pay tribute to the ... victors over Nazism". However, many world leaders have declined to attend because of Moscow's backing for separatist rebels in Ukraine. Asked at his annual phone-in whether Russia should be offended by those who have declined invitations, Putin said "whoever doesn't want to (join) can do as they please." The refusal of many Western leaders to attend has underlined the rift in relations with Moscow, which have sunk to lows not seen since the end of the Cold War, and the stark difference in narratives regarding World War Two. The Chinese and North Korean leaders are expected to attend the Moscow events, underlining Russia's attempts to build alliances in Asia as ties with the West become more strained.