Putin: There's 'reasons to be worried' about health says Brenton
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As Russian President Vladimir Putin marks Victory Day – the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany – on Monday, some experts fear the celebrations could coincide with an escalation of the war in Ukraine. Putin addressed the Russian people during a substantial military parade in Moscow’s Red Square, where he continued recent rhetoric that his troops in eastern Ukraine were “defending the motherland” The Russian President declared NATO as the aggressor, claiming he was trying to deescalate the situation with the “special military operation” which he declared to be “the only right decision” against a “neo-Nazi” regime in Kyiv.
The parade comes two days after Russian forces bombed a village school in eastern Ukraine killing about 60 people, as claimed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
With no end to this bloody war sight, some analysts now fear the conflict could drag on indefinitely.
There are also fears that Putin could resort to even more violence in an attempt to achieve his military objectives.
Speaking to Yahoo in April, one expert looked at how Moscow could use the Victory Day celebrations to further its objectives in Ukraine.
Julian G. Waller, associate research analyst at the Centre for Naval Analyses, explained how Putin has used previous celebrations to flaunt his country’s intercontinental ballistic missiles and galvanise his people.
He added: “Given the current tensions, of course, in the collective West, in the United States and elsewhere, it is going to be read a lot more as a threat.”
The expert predicted that from here “it’s going to get worse” and the next few weeks “are going to be potentially quite bloody.”
On whether the Victory Day event could have any impact on the war in Ukraine, Mr Waller said the Kremlin will try to claim some form of “victory” over Ukraine, but added that this won’t change the reality on the ground, where Russian forces have been held back in many places by resilient Ukrainian troops.
Mr Waller said: “There’s going to be victory claims of some sort, and they’re certainly going to be related to the Russo-Ukrainian war that’s ongoing right now.
“And the new phase in the Donbas is very likely going to filter in. What that doesn’t mean is that anything will change on the ground, necessarily.
“It just might push forward Russian efforts to try to get their pound of flesh, given that the battle of Kyiv has gone so poorly, given that there has been an entire reorientation towards the Donbas, and that offensive is starting now, more or less.
“It is certainly plausible that there is significant pressure to show achievements, specific geographic, territorial achievements, like ‘We have captured this or that territory in Ukraine by this point. We have liberated this or that people.’”
In the past two months, Moscow’s military has bombarded major Ukrainian cities and has repeatedly been accused of deliberately targeting civilians.
As Russian forces withdrew from areas near Kyiv, evidence of war crimes were laid bare, with civilian bodies and mass graves were left behind by Moscow’s troops.
Despite the shocking violence, Mr Waller said Russia has “shown constraint” in Ukraine when compared to previous military activities, such as in Syria.
The expert explained: “The Russians have actually shown relative constraint in the use of some of their more major military arsenal.
“I mean that very specifically that Russian tactics have not been particularly nuanced.
“However, they have been more nuanced than they were in Syria, for example. Kyiv was not carpet-bombed, to take one example; we have not seen the use of tactical nuclear weapons, biological, chemical weapons.”
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Mr Waller also looked at where the war goes from here.
He said that Putin’s invasion “has so far failed in its political and territorial goals” but also warned that the conflict is far from over.
The expert said it was difficult to predict the outcome of the conflict.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Ben Wallace accused Putin today of “mirroring” the Nazis.
In a speech, he said: “Through their invasion of Ukraine, Putin, his inner circle and generals are now mirroring the fascism and tyranny of 70 years ago, repeating the errors of last century’s totalitarian regimes.
“Let’s call out the absurdity of Russian generals – resplendent in their manicured parade uniforms and weighed down by their many medals – for being utterly complicit in Putin’s hijacking of their forebears’ proud history of defending against a ruthless invasion; of repelling fascism; of sacrificing themselves for a higher purpose.”
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