A Shared Victory

The ninth of May has a very significant meaning to the Russian people. It is Victory Day. The day they celebrate victory over Germany and the end of World War II. That’s a huge deal because the lives of roughly 27 million Soviets were lost during the second world war. I’m calling it a “shared victory” because we were on the same side in the fight against Nazi Germany, if you remember your history.

Most Russian people consider the Soviet’s struggle and defeat over the Germans in WWII the most significant event of the 20th century.  Image Credit: Kirill Zykov / Moskva News Agency

Up until now, Russian President Vladimir Putin has refused to call his invasion and subsequent military actions in Ukraine a war. He politely refers to the killing and destruction as a “special military operation.” There are those in the West that believe that will all change on Victory Day, May 9th. They feel he will use the occasion of the huge parade that day to announce a formal escalation of his military actions. Actions, may I remind you, that have already cost mother Russia about 20,000 lives. More or less, depending on who you ask.

Of course, the Kremlin denies the hell out of this. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says there is no truth to the rumors “at all.” But, fair enough, we didn’t expect them to admit to it after all. It’s kind of like when a little kid breaks mom’s favorite cookie dish, and a chorus of “not me” rings out from the children. Only in this case, the “cookie dish” is Ukraine, the largest country in Europe.

So, Where Did This Idea Come From?

It’s certainly not me here at home making it up. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace publically floated the idea. Wallace commented last week that the upcoming Russian celebration and parade could be used to drum up patriotic fervor and would be a perfect time to announce all-out war. OK, that’s not exactly what he said; here is the actual quote: