Russia is finalizing preparations for the victory daywith which he commemorates each May 9 Soviet victory over Nazi Germany. On this occasion, the acts are preceded by a military offensive in Ukraine and speculation about possible changes in said conflict coinciding with the symbolic date.
the main act of Victory Day takes place on the Red Square in Moscow, scene of a military parade in the presence of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and the main political and military officials. “We have not invited any foreign leader,” Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov confirmed last week, anticipating the organization of “a holy day for Russia and the Russian people.”
The 2021 celebrations were not attended by foreign leaders either – only the one from Tajikistan and because he was on an official visit – and then Moscow justified it because it was not a round anniversary. This May 9, Russia will commemorate77 years after his victory over Adolf Hitler’s regime, predictably with a new display of its weapons capabilities. In 2015, after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula, Russia used the parade to show off new weapons, but this time no big fuss is expected from a military point of view. Peskov himself has acknowledged a “significant” number of personal casualties after the start of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, although Moscow does not offer current figures.
kyiv assures that more than 20,000 Russian soldiers have died and British Intelligence, which prepares its own reports, estimates that there would be at least 15,000. Data aside, what seems confirmed at this point is that on the ground things have not gone as Putin would have liked when he announced the start of the “special operation”.
Background and shape changes
For Putin, the war in Ukraine is not such. Both he and the Russian leadership stick to the term ‘special operation’ to refer to the offensive and have even punished the media and activists who allude to terms such as war or invasion, in a repressive escalation that has resulted in a single line of speech media.
However, in Western political circles it is expected that the Russian president may use Victory Day to officially declare war, according to sources consulted by the US network CNN. In practicewould facilitate the mobilization of more troops and reservistsafter Moscow has even resorted to foreign mercenaries to counter Ukrainian resistance.
British Defense Minister Ben Wallace also said in an interview with LBC Radio that Putin will turn the page on the “special operation” to talk openly about war. The premise would be clear: “We are at war with the Nazis and I need more people,” Wallace declared.
The “denazification” of Ukraine It has featured recurrently among Russian justifications for the invasion, despite the fact that the objectives have been changing after the Russian forces failed to advance in key urban areas such as kyiv. Operations are now focused on “liberating” Donbas, although offensives are also being carried out throughout the eastern and southern areas for this purpose.
Moscow has avoided speculating on the potential change of terminology, but it has come out against doubts about a hasty resolution of the conflict. “Our troops will not artificially base their activities on a specific date,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a recent interview with the Italian conglomerate Mediaset.
The Pope’s Statement
Pope Francis joined the rumors on Tuesday, revealing in an interview with ‘Il Corriere della Sera’ that the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, told him on April 21 during their meeting in the Vatican that ” The Russians have a plan, that everything will end on May 9.”
US State Department spokesman Ned Price believes there are “good reasons” to believe that “the Russians will use everything they can” to make May 9 a day that is also conducive to propaganda regarding Ukraineso in Washington They don’t rule out ads.
Possible milestones on the table include the annexation of the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luganskwhose independence Moscow already recognized just a few days before the invasion, a declaration on the total capture of the city of Mariupol or the clear opening of new battle fronts in other parts of Ukraine such as Odessa, according to US sources quoted by CNN.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.