What was not feared! There was talk of universal mobilization – an official declaration of war on the West, which Russian President Vladimir Putin (69) will announce at the Victory Day parade over Nazi Germany.
But what was it? Contrary to his aggressive speech at the start of the invasion on February 24, Putin turned his ten-minute speech delivered Monday morning in Moscow’s Red Square into an excuse speech and lamented many of the victims. Observers even talk about Putin’s “retirement speech”.
Putin accused the West of preparing an invasion of Russia and Crimea. “Russia prevented aggression, it was the right decision,” Putin said. He said he had to make a first strike to protect the Russian people in eastern Ukraine and because NATO was approaching.
Air show canceled
The parade itself was also small, unlike other years. 11,000 soldiers took part in it, which is 1,000 less than last year. In addition, the air shows were completely canceled, officially due to weather conditions. Only: The weather in Moscow on Monday was clear with a few clouds.
Canceled air show: the weather wasn’t that bad at all? (00:47)
Leonid Volkov (41), a trusted critic of the Kremlin, Alexei Navalny (45), called the sudden and simultaneous cancellation of several air shows in major Russian cities as evidence of a “political decision”. Volkov wrote on his Telegram channel that he could imagine that the FSB secret service had banned the events because of “operational information that something unsightly was being prepared”.
The expert expects referenda
Ulrich Schmid (56), Russia expert at St. Gallen, tells Blick: “Putin is crawling back. At first, he believed that after the Blitzkrieg in Kiev, he would be greeted with flowers. Now he has to realize that it was unreal. ”
Schmid does not rule out the “Syrian scenario” in Ukraine. “The Russian army intervened in Syria in 2015 and then declared victory several times only to be able to withdraw from the highly unpopular operation.”
The expert on Russia expects that in the self-proclaimed republics of Lugansk and Donetsk, there may be “votes” on admission to the Russian Federation in the coming weeks. “Putin could then sell this approach as a victory.”
The expert analyzes the speech: “Putin returns” (7:45)
Burkhard Meissner (62) from the German Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies warned against “Bild” panic related to Russia’s further plans. “The war was exhausted and destroyed many Russian forces.” All the widely publicized weapons of terrorism are less dangerous and less effective than they appear. Rather than becoming a large-scale war, the war may turn back into a local war in Donbas.
More about Putin’s aggression
A change of power in the Kremlin cannot be ruled out either. “Everything’s set up behind the scenes,” says Ulrich Schmid. In addition, Putin seems to be sick. He looked bloated and lowered one hand as he walked. It is said that he will have surgery on Tuesday.
Selenski promises to celebrate the victory
Meanwhile, observers even see a possibility for Ukraine to reverse the situation and regain Crimea and other lost territories. The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky (44), even went so far as to promise the public a parade to celebrate the victory over Russia on Kiev’s main street Khreschatyk.
Just as the Red Army liberated Donetsk, Luhansk, Mariupol, Kherson, Melitopol, Berdyansk and the entire Crimean peninsula from the hands of the Nazis during World War II, Zelenskiy said today’s occupiers would also be expelled. The Ukrainians fought neither for the “Tsar’s Tata” nor for the “Führer”. «We are always fighting for ourselves, for our freedom. For our independence – said the head of state.
Zelenskiy again compared Putin to Hitler. Moscow will end up like the Hitler regime, which is imitating the Kremlin. Zelensky is full of optimism: “Soon we will have two days of victory in Ukraine.”