REPORT: Russia Preparing to End War On Symbolic May 9:The Kiev Independent reports that the Kremlin wants the war in Ukraine to end by May 9, a symbolic day and an indication that Russia is not quite ready to give up on plans to conquer Kyiv and other major population centers despite a brutal loss of life, difficulty resupplying troops, and a shortage of food and water on the ground.
“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 – widely celebrated in Russia as the day of victory over Nazi Germany,” the independent English-language news platform revealed to its 1.9 million followers.
Why May 9 Is So Significant
May 9, known as “Victory Day” in Russia, is the day that the Soviet Red Army’s counter-offensive in Nazi Germany came to an end, with Russian soldiers marching through Berlin in 1945 and declaring victory. Every year since the Russian people and other former Soviet countries have celebrated victory against the Nazis.
Assuming the report is accurate, it offers a glimpse into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions for this war in Ukraine and the way he would like the “special military operation” to be remembered.
During Putin’s time as president he has encouraged greater celebrations on May 9, and when he addressed large crowds in Red Square in 2017, he said that the Soviet Union “faced the most powerful assaults by the Nazis” and that there is “no force” that can beat the Russian people.
Ending the war on May 9 will give Putin an opportunity to propagandize his efforts in Ukraine, comparing the victory of the Soviet Red Army in the 20th century to the Russian offensive in Ukraine in 2022, which the Russian president has repeatedly described as a process of “DeNazification.”
“The purpose of this operation is to protect people who for eight years now have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kyiv regime,” Putin said when he launched the invasion.
“To this end, we will seek to demilitarize and deNazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation.”
Putin’s accusations, however, have been roundly dismissed, dissected, and proven wrong by a wealth of academics and experts – and even by this outlet.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.