(UnitedVoice.com) – Every year on May 9, Russia shuts down much like the US does during Memorial Day to celebrate its 1945 defeat of the German army in World War II. The national holiday, known as Victory Day, is the most significant in the Russian political-military calendar. As that day approaches, some believe Russian President Vladimir Putin has been pressuring his generals to strike a catastrophic blow to Ukraine to ensure a significant victory ahead of the holiday.
In early March, Putin stated one of his goals was the de-Nazification of Ukraine despite the lack of any evidence of Nazism in the country and the election of Jewish Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Throughout Putin’s attack on Ukraine, he argued Russian forces targeted Nazis, not civilians.
Putin Taps Into Anti-Nazi Rhetoric in Russia as War Intensifies in Ukraine
Thomas Graham, distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and co-founder of Yale University’s Russia, East European and Eurasian studies program, told Newsweek the Russians celebrate Victory Day because of the great sacrifices the Soviet people made in 1945. Graham noted Putin is tapping into the sentiment of national pride by using the anti-Nazism narrative to rally support internally for his invasion of Ukraine.
The stakes couldn’t be higher for either Russia or Ukraine as May 9 approaches. A senior Defense official told Axios the United States is working hard to get military assistance to Ukraine as fast as possible. Officials believe Ukraine might repel Russia to the Donbas region, forcing Russia to claim a false victory to save face, or Putin might order a brutal assault using unconventional weapons to claim a strategic win.
Vindman Shares How Dangerous Things Could Get
On Sunday, April 10, retired Army Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman told Axios the next several weeks would be extremely dangerous and could be a significant turning point in the Russian invasion. Vindman, born Ukrainian, was at the heart of former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment as a whistleblower.
Vindman added if Russia loses, it may force Putin to scale back and focus on territory it already holds in eastern Ukraine. Yet, if the Russian president is successful, Vindman believes it could inspire Putin to push forward into a protracted war that might expand beyond Ukraine in a confrontation with NATO.
Over the last few weeks, observers noted the Russian military reduced its presence in Kyiv in anticipation of a harder push in the Donbas region. On March 24, the Kyiv Independent tweeted that intelligence sources learned Russian officials told troops the war must end by Victory Day.
⚡️Ukrainian army: Russia wants to end war by May 9.
According to intelligence from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russian troops are being told that the war must end by May 9 – widely celebrated in Russia as the day of victory over the Nazi Germany.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 24, 2022
Now, the Ukrainians are pleading for more military supplies in anticipation of a new Russian onslaught.
Vindman said the US should provide a resupply of artillery, drones, and rocket systems. He advocated in favor of ensuring Ukraine wins the next battle.
Stay tuned. Things may intensify between Russia and Ukraine in the following days.
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