Putin Sends Warning to West at Russia's World War II Victory Parade

Putin Sends Warning to West at Russia's World War II Victory Parade

President Vladimir Putin will send "doomsday" warnings to the West when he leads festivities this Monday, May 9, to mark the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany, brandishing Russia's formidable firepower as its forces battle in Ukraine.

Faced with deep Western isolation since he ordered the invasion of Russia's neighbor, Putin will speak on Red Square before a parade of troops, tanks, missiles, and ICBMs.

The Il-80 is designed to become a roving command post for the Russian president in this scenario. It's full of technology, but the specifics are a Russian state secret.

The 69-year-old Kremlin leader has repeatedly likened the war in Ukraine to the challenge the Soviet Union faced when the Nazis led by Adolf Hitler invaded in 1941.

"We will not make such a mistake again; we have no right."

Putin describes the war in Ukraine as a battle to protect Russian speakers there from Nazi persecution and what he calls the US threat to Russia posed by NATO expansion. Ukraine and the West reject the claim of fascism as nonsense and say that Putin is waging an unjustified war.

In World War II, the Soviet Union lost 27 million people, more than any other country. In recent years, Putin has criticized what Moscow sees as attempts in the West to review war history to downplay the Soviet victory.

Besides the defeat of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1812, the failure of Nazi Germany was the Russians' most respected military victory. However, the two disastrous invasions from the West left Russia highly sensitive about its borders.

The Russian invasion killed thousands of people and displaced nearly 10 million. It has also left Russia in the grip of harsh Western sanctions. It has raised fears of a broader confrontation between Russia and the United States - the two most considerable nuclear powers.

Although 11,000 soldiers marching through Red Square and what the Defense Ministry said would be 131 pieces of military equipment would present a grand spectacle, the conflict in Ukraine has exposed weaknesses in the Russian armed forces despite Putin's attempt during his two decades in power. stop the war—post-Soviet Decline.

The Kremlin has been denied a quick victory, and Russia's economy — which has been hard squeezed by sanctions — is facing its worst downturn in the years after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Less than two decades ago, US President George W. Bush joined Putin at the May 9 festivities in Moscow. The Kremlin said no Western leaders had been invited this year.

Two sources close to the armed forces told Reuters that the United States and its allies have ramped up arms supplies to Ukraine, and Putin has faced calls from some in the Russian military to unleash more firepower on Ukraine. Moscow has informed the West that its arms supplies are legitimate targets.

Before May 9, speculation swirled in Moscow and Western capitals that Putin was preparing some special declaration on Ukraine, perhaps an outright declaration of war or even a national mobilization.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed those suggestions on Wednesday as "nonsense."

Last year, Putin criticized Western exceptionalism and what he said was the rise of neo-Nazism and Russian hatred — trends he has repeatedly returned to when addressing the Ukraine issue.

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