December 2, 2022

Opinion: Expect Putin to make a big announcement on May 9

5 min read

But in more than two months, the war has gone far beyond what Russia had imagined. Then, on May 9, Putin may have the opportunity to declare a symbolic “victory” over Ukraine – a great demonstration of patriotism aimed at reducing his manipulative, narrow audience. ۔

This date marks the day Nazi Germany surrendered to Soviet forces (the day after the surrender to the Western Allies, which is why Britain, the United States and their allies commemorate the victory on May 8). ۔

Moscow initially partnered with Nazi Berlin to divide Eastern Europe between two dictatorships. But after the collapse of that partnership with the German invasion of the USSR in 1941, the Soviet humanitarian partnership to defeat Germany – backed by massive shipments of food aid and military equipment from Britain, the United States and Canada. Retrieved via – was important.

The Soviet Union lost. Tens of millions Soldiers and civilians during World War II – most of them in the then Soviet republics of Ukraine and Belarus.
Throughout his government, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin More people were killed Compared to Adolf Hitler in his own country and occupied territories. But these days in Russia it is a crime to remember this history or to compare the atrocities of the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany. Fresh flowers are still laid at Stalin’s tomb in Red Square – where the May 9 Victory Parade is held.

How important is May 9 to Putin?

Vladimir Putin is a staunch nationalist who does not believe that Russia’s territorial and political ambitions must end at its internationally recognized borders. Russia does not consider the countries that formed the Soviet Union, except Russia, to be independent. In fact, mostly RussianAnd especially through Putin.

But there are no friendly tools available to attract other countries, Russia needs a powerful army to maintain or regain an empire. May 9 is designed to intimidate the domestic mob, intimidate the opposition, and appease the then dictator (over the years, all secretaries-general of the Communist Party have similarly visited Lenin’s mausoleum in Red Square, Russia.) Acknowledge the military strength of. Satisfaction when it passed and flew away).

Ukraine is deeply personal to Putin (but, fortunately, even more personal to the future of Ukraine, to Ukrainians). In the eyes of the Russian president, his “misguided behavior” is a hoax and his very existence is a historical flaw. Something had to be done about Ukraine’s Western ambitions, and as Russian-style diplomacy (read: repression) failed, Putin felt compelled to turn to more muscular methods to “restore order.” ۔

What he did not realize (though not what most Western analysts did) was how fundamentally corrupt and incompetent Russia’s supposedly modern and professional fighting force had become.

Ukraine’s brave resistance deserves every credit. But they could not have achieved this without the help of the Russian military. At the same time, the vertical nature of Russia’s political structure is such that there is certainly little accurate information circulating among the rest of Putin’s elite about the state of the game.

What could that mean during the war?

If Western analysts True, Putin has called for victory on Victory Day, which means that Russia’s military commanders need to achieve something after the humiliating defeats in the first two months of the war.
Attempts to sail Russian flagship cruiser Kyiv were repulsed. Has sunk Effectively by a country without a navy, and they have lost at least 15,000 troops – far more than all previous campaigns since the Soviet Union (Chechnya, Georgia, Syria, Ukraine 2014).
Russia’s Plan B (or more likely Plan F or G) aims to redouble efforts and ground forces and focus on maximizing gains. East of Ukraine And hopefully for the Kremlin, but far less likely, the rest of the Black Sea coast.
Whether this could be on time for the May 9 parade is highly debatable. Ukrainians are still acquiring weapons and are in high spirits – although Kyiv controls information about the war and we do not know the true status of their armed forces. Its biggest challenge (from the east) is yet to come, and the fighting will intensify in the next few weeks as Russia seeks to occupy more land. Donbass.
Opinion: Why the 'Battle of Donbass'?  There will be a critical moment in the outcome of the war.
The question, however, is whether Moscow will seek to pursue aggression beyond its modest regional interests or choose to “freeze” positions on the ground – digging into Ukrainian territory and prosecuting Ukraine for peace. As the war unfolds, a new, more stable phase of recent attempts to destabilize Moldova through its separate Russian-controlled territory. Transnistria Remind us that Moscow will not give up so easily.

The two sides are effectively manipulating for a better position at the negotiating table when the time finally comes. Militarily, the war could reach a stalemate in the coming weeks, where neither side has the power to completely reverse the tide of the war and achieve a decisive victory over the other.

What does Putin’s strategy look like in Ukraine?

Russia’s strategy may have changed, but its strategy – its overall goal – did not. Its purpose is to ensure that Ukraine is no longer an independent state capable of making choices towards Europe and the West.

The good news is that the goal cannot be achieved. Ukraine’s domination – physically or politically – is now out of Russia’s grasp forever. Russia has not performed well enough on the battlefield or in the political arena. The bad news is that Russia does not yet know, and so it will continue to send its men, and many Ukrainians, to their deaths.

Russia at least knows that this is not just a war against Ukraine but a war against Ukraine. International order based on rules, Which did him no good. Russia has been saying this for a decade. NATO knows this too, but refuses to acknowledge it publicly to help prevent it from being dragged out (privately negotiating with NATO is a different matter).

If sanctions remain in place, Europe could continue to wean itself with Russian energy, and if foreign investors continue to hold back, the Kremlin will run out of money by the end of the year – resulting in a final policy decision. There may be a change. But not until May 9. None of this will change until then – in the “progress” of the war or in the eyes of ordinary Russians.

Therefore, May 9 will be a show of strength as usual. But it will be hollow. Just like, I suspect, the feeling in Putin’s stomach.

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