This Tuesday, Russia is celebrating the anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. It has been 78 years since the Third Reich capitulated. For Vladimir Putin, the holiday is of central importance. In recent decades, he has had Victory Day propaganda glorified as the most sacred date of his regime. May 9th is the linchpin of an entire mythology that transfigures the military and war into a heroic epic.
Vladimir Putin does not miss the opportunity to bask in the glory of the old victory. In the run-up there was speculation as to whether the parade in Moscow would be cancelled. Recently, drone attacks and acts of sabotage had increased in Russia. The leadership in Moscow blames Kiev. Several cities therefore canceled the traditional celebrations at the end of the World War.
Seven heads of state travel to the parade in Moscow
Canceling the Moscow parade, however, would amount to an admission of total defeat. Putin is not ready to take this step. He used every means possible to persuade several heads of state to join him at the parade. Among them the rulers of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Belarus.
Not a single head of state attended the parade in Moscow last year. The Kremlin explained this fact by saying that it was not an anniversary. That’s why nobody was invited. Apparently, that fact wasn’t an argument this year. In Russia there is now speculation about the means by which Putin got the seven heads of former Soviet states to take part in the parade.
Reorientation in Ukraine
As in the previous year, the celebrations will be overshadowed by the war of aggression against Ukraine. There is also a fight over the sovereignty of interpreting this event. The Kremlin justifies its war of aggression as repelling a Western threat and a supposedly Nazi regime in Kiev. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, on the other hand, equates the defense of Ukraine with the fight against Nazi Germany in World War II. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is expected in Kiev this Tuesday to celebrate Europe Day.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.