Russians are criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin for his bizarre speech at the Russian Victory Day parade, the day Russia celebrates victory in World War II, as Russian forces continue their attacks in Ukraine, according to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).
According to allegedly intercepted phone calls between Russians shared by the SBU, the Russian people are particularly outraged by Putin’s celebration of Russian might, while prices of goods in Russia soar under the pressure of US sanctions. and other countries have imposed on Russia for the war in Ukraine.
“I don’t know what this parade is for? What the hell do they need it for? Said the mother of a Russian soldier, according to wiretapped phone calls shared by the SBU. “Not everyone is in the mood.”
The Kremlin normally uses the parade as a way to display Russian military hardware and prowess. But this year, the day of celebration takes place under a cloud of death and devastation: Putin sent his military forces to Ukraine in February with the intention of taking kyiv and capturing several cities, promoting the event as a “special” military operation. “for your country. home audiences.
“He has no victory to celebrate.”
But instead of a quick victory, the Russians have failed miserably along the way and have had to resort to cutting back on their ambitious goals and diverting the war to eastern Ukraine. Russian troops have been dropping dead along the way, with casualties in the tens of thousands, according to Ukrainian military estimates.
US and Ukrainian officials warned last week that Putin could use the symbolic Victory Day to rally his troops. They warned that he was preparing to mobilize more troops and officially declare war on Ukraine, or was preparing to drastically escalate the fighting in Ukraine in other ways.
But Putin delivered his Victory Day speech without such announcements, a move that shows Putin is at a loss and is failing, something his citizenry is taking notice of, according to senior US and British officials.
Putin “has acknowledged that he doesn’t have a victory to celebrate,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Monday, CNN reported. “He could not go to the Ukraine and bring them to their knees in a few days and make them surrender.”
“Russia’s general staff is failing and they know it,” said British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in a speech on Monday.
“Now the Russians have not a victory parade, but a shame parade,” Ukraine’s SBU said in a statement.
The Russians on the intercepted call lamenting the parade have also been complaining that the parade makes them feel distressed and ashamed.
“Basically, it’s nonsense,” the Russian mother said of the parade, according to the SBU. “It’s all embarrassing… My soul hurts.”
The Victory Day parade has been something of a farce for some time, military analysts say. Some of the weapons and equipment that the Kremlin has displayed at Victory Day parades in previous years, while they may seem impressive, have actually been of no use to the Russian military.
Some of the weapons and equipment that the Russian government displayed in 2015, like the Boomerang armored personnel carrier, for example, are still not in service seven years later, according to Rob Lee, a Russian military analyst. And instead of the Victory Day parade serving as an emblem of Russian military prowess, the parade has a better record of displaying weakness and lack of coordination.
“None of those weapons are in service,” Lee told The Daily Beast. “It kind of raises the question of… all these very modern weapons that Russia is talking about, saying [the parade] it is a kind of demonstration that Russia is a great power, high-tech, well, none of them are in service. It certainly lends itself to questions about [when] Will these be achieved, will they be achieved? Are they really as high-tech as they’ve been saying?
Although Putin does not have a victory to announce this week, he also has no plans to end the war, Thomas-Greenfield said. For now, he is reassessing his position in Ukraine, according to the ambassador.
But on Monday, Russian attacks continued unabated. A Russian missile hit and destroyed a hotel in Odessa, Ukrinform reported. During a Monday visit to Ukraine, European Council President Charles Michel had to take cover to avoid Russian missiles, AFP reported.
However, Russia’s fight ahead is not necessarily very promising for Putin, as his military’s resources are beginning to falter more than 70 days after the war. Russia’s stockpiles of precision-guided munitions are dwindling, according to a British intelligence analysis.
“[A]As the conflict continues beyond Russian pre-war expectations, Russia’s stockpiles of precision-guided munitions are likely to have been largely depleted,” the Defense Ministry said on Monday.
Replacing that ammunition will be a difficult task and will force Russian forces to use aging ammunition that is less reliable and accurate.