Russia preparing to celebrate Victory Day: What could this mean for Ukraine? – NewsNation Now

Posted By on April 20, 2022

(The Hill) In Russia, Victory Day is one of the most popular and important holidays, typically celebrated with military parades, festivals and fireworks across the country to celebrate the Russian triumph over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Victory Day this year comes amid a devastating war Russia is waging with its neighbor Ukraine.

Some fear that Russia could hasten for a notable victory to capitalize on the holiday, especially with Russian President Vladimir Putin preparing for a new offensive in the eastern region of Ukraine.

Experts have warned thatPutin could blitz for a victory in the east ahead of the May 9 holiday to distract from the heavy losses of Russian troops and equipment in Ukraine.

Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, in one of the largest modern military operations in the world. Adolf Hitler sent more than 3 million troops into the nation as part of Operation Barbarossa.

Although Operation Barbarossa ultimately failed, Nazi Germany repeatedly launched failed offensives against the Soviet Union. The Nazi regimes largest casualties were in eastern Europe, but the Soviet Union lost more than 24 million people in World War II, suffering the most losses of any country involved in the war.

The Soviet Union and allied forces eventually encircled Berlin, ending the war.

Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day) was proclaimed on May 8, 1945, but Russia celebrates it the day after on May 9.

The end of the Great Patriotic War in Russia remains one of the largest World War II celebrations in the world, complete with parades, concerts, events, fireworks, festivals and speeches.

World War II had a profound effect on Russia, driving up patriotic fervor and anti-Nazi public sentiment.

Putin capitalized on Russian patriotism and anti-Nazism when he invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, claiming he was denazifying the country, despite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskys Jewish heritage.

This month, Russia retreated from the Kyiv region in the northern part of Ukraine and has reportedly regrouped in the east for a new offensive to achieve a more limited objective:capturing the Donbas regionin Ukraines industrial heartland.

Dmytro Gurin, a Ukrainian member ofParliament,told The Hillhe believes Russia will try to destroy Ukraine through a large-scale destruction of cities and people, pointing to the devastation in the port city of Mariupol.

Gurin said Russia might take major action around Victory Day.

They need to show something for their population, he said.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine warned in aMarch 24 Facebook postthat Russia wants to end the war by May 9.

There is a constant propaganda work being carried out among the personnel of the Russian Federations armed forces, which imposes the idea that the war must be ended by May 9, 2022, the post read, citing sources within the Russian army.

However, whether Russia actually notches a notable victory might not matter to Putin, author and scholar Faith Hillistold The Washington Post.

I think for Putin, theres not going to be a defeat, even if theres a defeat, Hillis told The Post. Theres no room for a defeat in his mindset. Its going to be spun as a victory no matter what happens.

As a sitting president and former KGB officer, Putin usually gives an address on Victory Day. In addition, a large celebration and military parade is typically held in Moscows Red Square.

For the 77th anniversary, Moscow is preparing for 12,500 people, 190 vehicles and 76 aircraft,according to the Defence Blog.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this month that Russia will celebrate the holiday as usual.

We will celebrate it the way we always do it. This is the holiest holiday in our country. It has been and will remain the holiest holiday for all Russians, Peksov said on April 6, according to the Defence Blog.

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Russia preparing to celebrate Victory Day: What could this mean for Ukraine? - NewsNation Now

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