Russia had started its military invasion in Ukraine on the 24Th of February,2022. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has always referred to this invasion as a “special military operation”. Recently there had been rising speculation that Vladimir Putin would officially declare a war on Ukraine on the special and symbolic occasion of Victory Day which is celebrated in Russia every year on the 9th of May. The Kremlin has however denied this. There are also speculations that he could declare a victory over Ukraine. Read to know more about what Victory day is, and what might actually happen on the auspicious occasion.
Why is May 9 known as Victory Day and celebrated all over Russia?
In Russia, the 9th of May is marked by the defeat of the Nazis by the Soviet Union and the end of World War II, which is known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War. It is a very important day in Russia and is known as “Victory Day”. Every year it is marked by military parades. The leaders of Russia stand in Red square’s tomb of Vladimir Lenin to celebrate this day.
May 9 is designed to show off to the home crowd, to intimidate the opposition, and to please the dictator of the time,” says the director of the Russia-Eurasia Programme. It is a day where speeches are made. During the Cold war, these speeches would be deciphered to find the hidden meaning behind them. All these facts make the day very symbolic and chances are that there will be major declarations by the President.
How does Vladimir Putin have a keen eye for symbolism?
The Russian president has ever since had a very keen eye for symbolism and marking important dates. He had even started the military invasion of Ukraine on a symbolic day. The invasion was started a day after the Defender of Fatherland Day, which is yet another important military day in the history of Russia.
Since the invasion of Ukraine has not gone according to the plan of Vladimir Putin, analysts fear that he might use this symbolic day to assert the power of Russian troops. There were speculations that he will either use the day to declare a war on Ukraine or else he might use it to get a victory and end what has been called by him a “special military operation”.
Further, the Russian President Vladimir Putin had been making Victory day an almost sacred holiday for Russians. The 27 million Soviets who died while fighting in the second world war were remembered and were paid homage. He had also been preparing the country for another war, last year he had added the enemies of Russia were using an ideology that is “much of the ideology of the Nazis.”
The Russian Media has since then started referencing Ukraine as the new Nazis. They even portrayed the invasion of Ukraine as if it were the unfinished business that was left in the second world war. It is almost certain with these facts that the Russian president would use the symbolic day to revive the feeling of patriotism in its citizens. It is believed that he would use those references to inspire further citizens to make sacrifices for the nation.
What does the Kremlin have to say on the speculations?
When the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, was asked about these speculations that Russia will declare war on that day, he had denied these and had said; “There is no chance of that. It’s nonsense”. The spokesman had further added that the speculations of a national mobilization should also not be paid any heed. It is not true. It is nonsense,” Peskov had told the reporters.
However, there are reports that there might be an additional parade this year in 2022, in the city of Mariupol, which is located in Southern Ukraine. No clarification about these has been made as of yet.
What do other nations say about the speculations?
Ukrainian politician Alyona Shkrum said: “So he takes some kind of victory day and he turns it into a big fight right now against Nazis, which is obviously Russian propaganda and completely ridiculous.” “We are expecting that there will be quite tough times here in Kyiv and in Odesa and in Mariupol, and in other cities for 9 May.”
Further, the UK Defence secretary Ben Wallace had said in regards to speculations that “I would not be surprised, and I don’t have any information about this, that he is probably going to declare on this May Day that ‘we are now at war with the world’s Nazis and we need to mass mobilize the Russian people,”
Putin’s take on the war
Putin has said that the invasion was an inevitable task that had to be done because the United States of America had been using Ukraine to scare Russia. He said that it was necessary to demilitarize as well as de-nazify Russia. He has referred to Ukraine as “openly neo-Nazi,” “pro-Nazi” and “little Nazis.” In fact, the whole of the invasion of Ukraine has been dominated by the word “Nazi” in order to make links to the past.
Few last words
What exactly might happen on the victory day is yet unclear. However, there is no doubt that this year Victory Day will be celebrated in a little different way than those celebrated in the past year.