“Amid Ukraine War, Russia Commemorates WWII Victory Day – DW – 05/09/2023”

During the Victory Day parade in Moscow’s Red Square, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the world is at a “tipping point” as Russia continues to refer to the war in Ukraine as a special military operation. Putin considers this war as “the future of our country” and states that it is a true war that has been unleashed on Russia. This year’s Victory Day celebrations, one of Russia’s biggest holidays, commemorating Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany, are overshadowed by the rising tensions with the west, battlefield failures in Ukraine, and tight Kremlin security at home.

The celebration comes as the Russian military faces numerous drone attacks, including one last week that targeted Putin’s compound. Russian military personnel has died since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, and authorities have scaled back the annual parade, excluding traditional flyovers and the “Immortal Regiment” procession where people carry portraits of their relatives who fought the Nazis, due to safety concerns.

Despite declining global standing since the war began, Putin still commemorates the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany. At least six post-Soviet leaders, including Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Kazakhstan’s President Qasim Jomart Tokayev, participated in the parade. It is the first time in years that Putin will spend Victory Day with other Soviet leaders.

The importance of Victory Day for Putin has promoted a cult-like worship centered around the day of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany. Putin has repeatedly used the same sentiment to justify the war in Ukraine, claiming to have been fighting Western-backed fascists, provoked by NATO. Putin condemns the extension of NATO to Russia’s borders and praises the Soviet heroism in resisting Hitler. Finland has since joined NATO, becoming Russia’s northwest neighbor.

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