Putin Blames West for “Real” War at Muted Victory Day Parade

May 9, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday accused Western powers of unleashing a “real war” on Russia during scaled-down Victory Day celebrations.

According to reports, the only tank on display in Red Square was single Soviet-era model during what has traditionally been the largest annual celebration across the country, at least since Putin took office.

This year, though, Russia is reportedly suffering a shortage of tanks and tank crews after 14 months of war in Ukraine. 

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has imposed a major security clampdown in Russia’s largest cities, banning the use of drones, and even jet skis and car-sharing services, during the yearly commemoration of Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

The restrictions come after Moscow blamed Ukraine, and even the U.S., for a purported drone attack last week upon the Kremlin complex. Both Kyiv and Washington have denied any involvement.

“Today civilization is once again at a decisive turning point,” Putin said during Tuesday’s event in Moscow. “A real war has been unleashed against our motherland.”

While Russia held its low-key Victory Day celebrations, Ukraine marked Europe Day with a visit from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, further separating the two nations amid their war.

Von der Leyen promised increased crackdowns on those who would try to circumvent Russian sanctions.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, meanwhile, took time out during the day to thank President Biden for a “powerful $1.2 billion defense assistance package.”

“We appreciate this sign of solidarity with [Ukraine] shown on a symbolic day for us—Europe Day & the Day of Victory over Nazism in WW2,” he tweeted. “Together we’re moving towards a new victory!”

PHOTO: @Gerashchenko_en  

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