Russia’s lackluster Victory Day military parade on May 9 highlighted not only Moscow’s insecurity about possible attacks in Ukraine, but also the country’s lack of military resources due to the war in Ukraine, political analysts said according to CNBC.
May 9 is a major holiday and holiday in Russia commemorating the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. It is arguably the most important day in Russian history, being a key element of the country’s modern national identity.
This year’s military parade in Moscow’s Red Square and celebrations across the country were noticeably smaller than in previous years, while in other cities parades were canceled entirely, with six regions (including Crimea annexed) and at least least 20 cities canceling festive activities.
In Moscow on Tuesday, the military parade was more subdued. There were also far fewer troops and military equipment than in previous years.
The fact that only one Stalin-era tank appeared at the military parade on Red Square was particularly impressive, analysts noted.
“It would be hard to imagine a more appropriate symbolism of Russia’s declining military power than the sight of a unique Stalin-era tank rolling across Red Square during the country’s traditional Victory Day celebrations on May 9,” he said. Peter Dickinson, editor of UkraineAlert at the Atlantic Council.
“For the past two decades, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has used Victory Day to showcase modern Russia’s rebirth as a military superpower, with dozens of state-of-the-art tanks regularly taking part in each annual parade. This year, however, the only tank on display was a World War II T-34 model,” he added.
Dickinson also said that “inevitably, the absence of tanks at this year’s Victory Day parade was widely interpreted as further evidence of Russia’s devastating losses in Ukraine”, echoed by the British Defense Ministry. .
Commenting on Wednesday, the ministry said Russia’s annual Victory Day parade in Red Square highlighted the challenges facing the Russian military 15 months after the war in Ukraine.
“Apparently more than 8,000 people took part in the parade, but the majority were paramilitary forces and cadets from military training institutions,” the British ministry said.
Anxiety in the Kremlin
Security concerns have been the reason for subdued Victory Day celebrations in Russia, with last week’s alleged drone attack on the Kremlin (which Russia blamed on Ukraine and the US, and both countries deny their participation) to justify holding the event in a lower tone.
But military analysts noted that the Kremlin also probably wanted to avoid any opportunity for public criticism of its invasion of Ukraine, which it still calls a “special military operation”: the only reference to the war on Tuesday was the Russian president’s claim, Vladimir Putin, that Putin “A real war is being waged against our homeland,” despite the fact that Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine.
With the only “old” T-34 tank on display, Britain’s Defense Ministry said that despite heavy losses in Ukraine, Russia could have sent more armored vehicles, but stressed that “the authorities probably refrained from doing so because they wanted to avoid internal criticism for prioritizing parades over military operations.”
“With Russian officials still in denial about the devastating consequences of the invasion of Ukraine, the last thing the Kremlin wanted was for thousands of bereaved family members to gather publicly and draw attention to the scale of the tragedy,” Dickinson said.
Ukraine was apparently quick to comment on the lackluster Victory Day parade.
The official Twitter account of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry commented that “modern Russian military equipment is much easier to find at Ukrainian military trophy displays than at the Victory Parade in Moscow,” while Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko said via Twitter that all of Ukraine laughs at Russia’s only tank.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky introduced a bill in the Ukrainian parliament proposing that May 8 be known as “Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in World War II” instead of May 9. , as in Russia and other former Soviet republics.
Zelensky said that from now on May 9 will be known in Ukraine as “Europe Day”, and Zelensky noted that “we will honor our historical unity, the unity of all Europeans who destroyed Nazism and will defeat Ruscism”, a word used by Ukraine. to describe “Russian fascism”.
* How Putin’s celebratory message is decoded
* Putin: The West is spreading hatred and Russophobia – They want to destroy our country
* Putin celebrates Victory Day against defeat in Ukraine