Russian President Vladimir Putin is marking Victory Day, celebrating the Soviet Union’s World War II triumph over Nazi Germany with a grand display of military might and a speech from Moscow’s Red Square.
Progress in Ukraine has eluded Putin; with Russian forces devastating but far from defeating the country in a war that has ground on for more than two months.
With his military failing to secure the gains; Putin may have wanted in order to declare success, analysts have speculated about whether the Kremlin may use the occasion; to further escalate its struggling campaign.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that; Russia may have already intensified its attacks ahead of the annual holiday, with at least 60 people feared dead; after an airstrike on a school where people were sheltering in an eastern Ukraine village on Sunday.
In Mariupol, a key port city, the final civilians were evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant where the city’s last Ukrainian defenders have held out under fire and siege; frustrating Moscow’s efforts at securing what would be a crucial strategic and symbolic victory.
Putin links fight in Ukraine to World War II during Moscow military parade
In a show of pomp and pageantry, Russia is marking the Soviet Union’s victory; over Nazi Germany in World War II with its annual military parade in Moscow.
Rows of soldiers in ceremonial dress lined the street and Red Square with a large military band playing in advance of a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Hailing the day as a “triumph of our unified Soviet Union;” Putin linked the current conflict in Ukraine with World War II.
“You are fighting for your motherland, for its future, so no one will forget the lessons of the Second World War;” he told the troops, before observing a minute of silence. After speaking, Putin watched as military groups paraded past, holding their flags.