Russian tanks marched on Dvortsovaya Square, in preparation for the parade on May 9. Photo: EFE
The invasion of Ukraine means that fewer Russian tanks and other equipment The military will roar in Moscow’s Red Square on Monday as the country celebrates its victory against Nazi Germany during World War II. However, the patriotic enthusiasm associated with the sacred holiday may be stronger than before.
Ang Victory day this year will not only honor a duel that ended 77 years ago. Many Russians will think of the thousands of soldiers fighting in neighboring Ukraine.
Signs of support for the military grew all over the country since the raid began on Feb. 24, with the letter “Z” and its appearance in street and subway ads and posters, as well as on television and social networks.
Russian soldiers are rehearsing for the parade on Monday. Photo: EFE
The Kremlin refused to define the fighting in Ukraine as a “war”, calling it a “special military operation” instead. Some observers believe that President Vladimir Putin could use the holiday to finally the operation was declared a warwith the aim of strengthen national commitment of Russia in the effort.
Here is a look at the meaning of Victory Day in Russia:
The war and the memory
The Soviet Union was severely defeated 27 million people during World War II, which he called the Great Patriotic War. The battle, which destroyed cities and farms, caused great suffering and left a deep scar on the national psyche.
Victory Day is an event rarely in the split post-Soviet history of the country respected by all political actors, and the Kremlin uses that feeling to promote patriotic pride and underline Russia’s role as a world power.
Included in the annual celebrations a large military parade in Red Square showcasing the latest weapons, from tanks to fighter jets and intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.
Russian military vehicles during parade rehearsals. Photo: EFE
This year, the arsenal of weapons displayed in the parade is greatly reduced compared to last year, in a bright reflection of the heavy military involvement in Ukraine.
Fight the “neo-Nazis”
In ordering the invasion, Putin declared that his goal was to “demilitarization” of Ukraine to remove an alleged military threat to Russia from “neo-Nazis”, a rhetoric condemned by Ukraine and the West as a fictional cover for a dull act of aggression.
To try to back up this claim, Putin and his officials taught praise to the nationalist leaders of Ukraine’s right-wing groups. Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevychwho sided with the Nazis during World War II and their perceived use of Nazi unit symbols.
The Kremlin also used this rhetoric to try to strengthen public support for the war in the middle. severe losses of troops and equipment and the enormous economic damage resulting from Western sanctions.
Rehearsal for May 9. Photo: EFE
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is a Jew, scoffed at the Kremlin’s claim of “denazification”. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded by drawing a parallel between Zelensky and Adolf Hitler, a statement that has reaped harsh criticism from Israel.
Hurry to the offensive?
Some in Ukraine and the West are hoping Putin will try to make quick wins before the May 9 celebrations, in a possible attempt to describe it as a decisive victory and use it as a means to what seems more and more a disastrous quagmire which bleeds Russia’s resources and threatens its stability.
Following a failed attempt to invade kyiv and other major cities in northern Ukraine in the early stages of the war, the Kremlin shifted its focus to the eastern industrial center, known as the Donbas, where rebels supported by Moscow to the Ukrainian government forces. since 2014.
That conflict erupted weeks after Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.
The Russian army re-armed and re-supplied the forces removed from kyiv and they moved to the Donbas in an apparent attempt to surround and destroy the most capable and experienced Ukrainian troops gathered there.
But that offends the East facing the strong defense of the Ukrainian and made only gradual gains, which shattered the Kremlin’s hopes of a quick victory. It seems almost impossible that significant progress will be made before May 9th.
In an interview this week, Lavrov said: “Our military will not artificially coordinate its action on any date, including Victory Day.”
Some Russian hardliners have criticized the Kremlin for using it only limited strength and encouraged that effort mobilization at the national level. Some Western officials and observers believe Putin could use May 9 to formally declare war and declare a total mobilization of the population and thus an increase in the number of troops for an offensive.
“He rotates the playing field, laying the groundwork to say: ‘You see, now it’s a war against the Nazis, and all I need is more people’British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on LBC radio last week.
The head of Ukrainian intelligence services, Kyrylo Budanov, issued a similar warning on Monday, saying Russia had secretly initiated preparation for extensive mobilization.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov on Wednesday dismissed the statements and he called them “nonsense”.
Russian authorities say only contracted volunteer soldiers are fighting in Ukraine, despite that fact many recruits were captured in the early days of the war.
The Russian army has about a million troops, of which 400,000 are contract soldiers, including 147,000 in the ground forces. Western officials estimated the initial strength of Russia’s aggression at roughly 180,000 troops.
The army admitted it had lost 1,351 soldiers as of March 25 and no updated the number of his casualty Since. Western officials said the losses were even greater in Russia, which estimated that nearly a quarter of Moscow’s initial strike force had lost combat capability.
If the war continues, the current number of Russian troops in Ukraine may not be enough to sustain operations, forcing the Kremlin to use untrained recruitscall reserves.
the kremlin faced with a difficult choice between trying to win the war with limited force or trying to strengthen his troops in Ukraine using conscripts and reservists, a step that could arouse public anger and possibly spoil the political situation.