How Putin Exploits Victory Day in Russia

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Curated by James Angelos

On May 9, Russians mark the defeat of Nazi Germany. Putin is using the anniversary to falsely disparage Ukraine as the new Nazi enemy.

  • This Monday, the Kremlin will mark Victory Day—the 77th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany—with a large military parade in Moscow’s Red Square.
  • For Russians, the occasion is the most important secular holiday of the year, honoring the sacrifice of some 27 million people—civilians and soldiers—who died in the fight against Nazism.
  • Once a day of mournful remembrance, under Putin, the occasion has increasingly been used to project military might and to provide a venue for the display of the latest Russian weaponry.
  • Now, he’s also using the anniversary to justify his war of aggression on Ukraine by falsely portraying Ukraine’s leaders as the new Nazi enemy.
  • Putin may use the occasion to trumpet Russian battlefield gains—and to depict Russia’s struggling military campaign as a success. He may also seek to prepare Russians for a long conflict.
  • In Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz marked the anniversary of the Nazi defeat with a speech justifying Germany’s military support of Ukraine and criticising Putin for the “falsification of history.”
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5 articles on this topic

United Press Agency

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