Fear grows in Russia: several regions cancel the traditional parades for Victory Day

Vladimir Putin in the 2022 parade (Sputnik / Reuters) (SPUTNIK /)

The Russian regions are canceling the Victory Day parades given concerns about possible motorized attacks from Ukraine. At least six regions, among them, have canceled their annual military parades.which show the vulnerability the country more than 14 months after the start of the invasion, while kyiv prepares for its counteroffensive.

Victory Day commemorates the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 and has become the centerpiece of Vladimir Putin’s vision of Russian identity. The parades give the Kremlin an opportunity to flaunt the military might of modern Russia. But Far from a show of force, the cancellation announcements are now piling up.

The most recent was that of the governor of Saratovlocated 600 kilometers from the border, who said that the parade would not be held for “security reasons”, as reported by Guardian.

In mid-April the governor of the peninsula of crimeaannexed by Russia in 2014. “The authorities of the Republic of Crimea and the hero city of Sevastopol made a joint decision not to carry out the demonstrations on May 1, the march of the ‘Immortal Regiment’ and the military parade on May 9 May,” Sergei Aksionov wrote on his Telegram channel.

Previously, his colleagues from kursk and belgorod they had also argued security reasons to cancel the event. The regions of Voronezh, Oryol and pskov they joined the wave of suspensions, which could increase this week.

Rehearsals are already taking place in Moscow, but Red Square was closed two weeks in advance (Reuters)
Rehearsals are already taking place in Moscow, but Red Square was closed two weeks in advance (Reuters) (EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA /)

For its part, Moscow is keeping the plans intact, but the Kremlin acknowledged that it will strengthen security measures, according to the Kremlin representative, Dmitri Peskov.

But there are indications that fear is already in Moscow. Last week, the capital’s security services announced the closure of Red Square to the public for an unprecedented two-week period to prepare the military parade, in which Putin is expected to make an appearance.

“We are aware that the kyiv regime, which is behind a series of terrorist attacks, plans to continue its line. All our special services do everything necessary to ensure safety. There is intense work underway,” the spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The Russian media Asset reported that the Russian Defense Ministry was considering canceling the aerial segment of the parade, both in Moscow and in St. Petersburg, citing security concerns and a lack of trained pilots.

Nevertheless, security against possible attacks would not be the only argument. As pointed out by the British analyst Samantha de Bendern in a column in Guardian, the government fears that a mass event will give opponents of the war an opportunity to demonstrate before the eyes of the world.

“Even nationalist pro-war bloggers criticize Putin’s actions in Ukraine, so his desperation and paranoia are increasing”, said the writer.

(Sputnik / Reuters) (SPUTNIK /)

The meaning of the celebration has been further altered by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Putin has falsely portrayed Ukraine as the successor to Nazi Germany and has attempted to draw unfounded historical parallels between the two wars. During a speech last year, Putin said that the current Russian army was fighting in Ukraine “so that there is no place in the world for butchers, murderers and Nazis.” The cancellations also come as kyiv prepares for its long-awaited counter-offensive.

Attacks and sabotage

In recent days, attacks and sabotage have increased in Russian regions and Crimea.

In the early hours of last Saturday, a drone attack caused a fire in a fuel tank in the port of Sevastopol, the base of the Black Sea Fleet, described by Ukraine as “punishment from God” for the killing of 23 civilians in the city ​​of Umán occurred last Friday.

On Monday, a dozen carriages of a train heading to Belarus derailed in Russia’s Briansk region, bordering Ukraine, due to a device that exploded on the railway tracks. On the same day 1 in the Leningrad region a case was opened for sabotage due to the explosion at a high-voltage pylon.

A senior lawmaker has also said that the Russian military was not capable of “policing the perimeter of our entire country,” urging civilian volunteers to take part in defending Russia’s state borders.

Given the lack of successes on the battlefield, with the only Russian victory since July 2022 being that of January in Soledar, for Russian President Vladimir Putin, it is essential to be able to rally the troops and try to maintain the unity of the russians. This even though the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, admits that the battle for Bakhmut, Russia’s only offensive currently on the front, is fought at a great cost in lives, every day close to a hundred on average, according to his own count.

The Ukrainian Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said the day before that “everything is ready” and that it now only depends on the General Staff, the commander-in-chief, Volodimir Zelensky, and his team to determine “how, where and when” to launch the operation.

According to the independent website Meduza, the Kremlin has prepared another manual for its propagandists, in which it asks them not to publicly underestimate the Ukrainian counter-offensive in what is seen as a way of preparing the population for eventual successes by Kiev.

(With information from EFE)

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