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Putin to send 'doomsday' warning to West at Russia's WW2 victory parade

World May 07, 2022 09:38AM ET
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4/4 © Reuters. Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a meeting of the Council of Legislators at the Federal Assembly in Saint Petersburg, Russia April 27, 2022. Sputnik/Alexei Danichev/Kremlin via REUTERS 2/4

By Guy Faulconbridge

LONDON (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin will send a "doomsday" warning to the West when he leads celebrations on Monday marking the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany, brandishing Russia's vast firepower while its forces fight on in Ukraine.

Defiant in the face of deep Western isolation since he ordered the invasion of Russia's neighbour, Putin will speak on Red Square before a parade of troops, tanks, rockets and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

A fly-past over St Basil's Cathedral will include supersonic fighters, Tu-160 strategic bombers and, for the first time since 2010, the Il-80 "doomsday" command plane, which would carry Russia's top brass in the event of a nuclear war, the Defence Ministry said.

In that scenario, the Il-80 is designed to become the roaming command centre for the Russian president. It is packed with technology but specific details are Russian state secrets.

The 69-year-old Kremlin leader has repeatedly likened the war in Ukraine to the challenge the Soviet Union faced when Adolf Hitler's Nazis invaded in 1941.

"The attempt to appease the aggressor on the eve of the Great Patriotic War turned out to be a mistake that cost our people dearly," Putin said on Feb. 24 when he announced what he called a special military operation in Ukraine.

"We will not make such a mistake a second time, we have no right."

Putin casts the war in Ukraine as a battle to protect Russian speakers there from persecution by Nazis and to guard against what he terms the U.S. threat to Russia posed by NATO enlargement. Ukraine and the West dismiss the fascism claim as nonsense and say Putin is waging an unprovoked war of aggression.

The Soviet Union lost 27 million people in World War Two, more than any other country, and Putin has railed in recent years at what Moscow sees as attempts in the West to revise the history of the war to belittle the Soviet victory.

Beside the 1812 defeat of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, the defeat of Nazi Germany is the Russians' most revered military triumph, though both catastrophic invasions from the west left Russia deeply sensitive about its borders.

SHADOW OF UKRAINE

The war in Ukraine will cast a long shadow over this Victory Day.

Russia's invasion has killed thousands of people and displaced nearly 10 million. It has also left Russia in the grip of tough Western sanctions, and has raised fears of a wider confrontation between Russia and the United States - by far the world's biggest nuclear powers.

Although 11,000 troops marching across Red Square along with what the Defence Ministry has said will be 131 pieces of military hardware will present a grand spectacle, the Ukraine conflict has exposed weaknesses in Russia's armed forces despite Putin's attempt in his two decades in power to halt the post-Soviet decline.

The Kremlin has been denied a quick victory and the Russian economy - squeezed hard by sanctions - is facing the worst contraction since the years following the fall of the Soviet Union.

Less than two decades ago, U.S. President George W. Bush joined Putin for the May 9 celebrations in Moscow. This year no Western leader was invited, the Kremlin said.

The United States and its allies have ramped up supplies of weapons to Ukraine and Putin has faced calls from some in the Russian military to unleash greater firepower on Ukraine, two sources close to the armed forces told Reuters. Moscow has told the West that its arms supplies are legitimate targets.

Ahead of May 9, speculation swirled across Moscow and Western capitals that Putin was preparing some sort of special announcement on Ukraine, perhaps an outright declaration of war or even a national mobilisation.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed those suggestions on Wednesday, describing them as "nonsense".

The Kremlin did not respond to requests for comment on what Putin might say in his speech, to be delivered from the Red Square tribune in front of Vladimir Lenin's Mausoleum.

Last year, Putin jabbed at Western exceptionalism and what he said was the rise of neo-Nazism and Russophobia - trends he has returned to again and again when addressing the issue of Ukraine.

Putin to send 'doomsday' warning to West at Russia's WW2 victory parade
 

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Comments (12)
Chad Richer Than You
Chad Richer Than You May 07, 2022 6:34PM ET
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ZS Beck
ZS Beck May 07, 2022 3:27PM ET
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Please somebody put this midget in the history books. He's is ready to start the 3. world war over not able to change reach the doorknob on the door.
Alan Rice
Alan Rice May 07, 2022 2:06PM ET
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Perhaps The II-80, or Airforce One, can land on Mars ??
Todd Gray
Todd Gray May 07, 2022 2:02PM ET
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imo, this was was entirely avoidable and provoked by the western neoliberals. to have their way, they would rather cast the world into upheaval than have peace. none of the outfall effects them, and they have no problem ruining the livelihood of many tens of millions. a return to traditional values would be a good thing for everyone, but them.
Gus McCrae
Gus McCrae May 07, 2022 2:02PM ET
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yes. sadly diplomacy was completely thrown overboard and everyone went on the offensive to corner Putin. Breaking one of the main rules of the art of war. It's the problem when politicians need to "look" strong
Alan Rice
Alan Rice May 07, 2022 1:58PM ET
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Its a tough call : Mutually Assured Destruction OR Planetary Environmental Suicide ?
jason xx
jason xx May 07, 2022 12:11PM ET
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Puketin is a MO Ron if he doesn't realize that with out massive Americian and allied help Russia would be a part of Germany right now. Hope nato luanches a massive assault on parade.
Gus McCrae
Gus McCrae May 07, 2022 10:38AM ET
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Barking dog doesn't ********
Gus McCrae
Gus McCrae May 07, 2022 10:38AM ET
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doesn't bitte
Miriam Morkhul
Miriam Morkhul May 07, 2022 9:59AM ET
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I look forward to WW3! I hope betting companies create exciting bets :)
Jan Buyle
Jan Buyle May 07, 2022 9:59AM ET
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You think war is fun?
jason xx
jason xx May 07, 2022 9:59AM ET
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it's not WW3 if it's against one country.
jason xx
jason xx May 07, 2022 9:59AM ET
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Did we start a war? it's necessary if you enjoy living in freedom?
jason xx
jason xx May 07, 2022 9:59AM ET
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You think you can just love puketin to death? This threat to freedom and democracy is not going away so wake up.
Eric Wullschleger
Eric Wullschleger May 07, 2022 9:59AM ET
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jason xx the treat is from inside. WAKE UP!
Vijay Jaiswal
Vijay Jaiswal May 07, 2022 3:11AM ET
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Russia is not doing objectionable act from long time to harm nato n america.... but nato n america continuosly are making efforts to counter Russia n trying to include more countries' in nato club...
DW Chadz
Calgarychadz May 07, 2022 3:11AM ET
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Russian bot
Jeff Paper
Jeff Paper May 06, 2022 6:20PM ET
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This is a war of the Globalist (US/NATO/Europe/IMF/WEF) vs the Nationalist (Russia/China/Brazil/Iran/etc). No matter who wins it’s not good for freedom. We either get a New World Order under Globalisms or Communism/Socialism.
DW Chadz
Calgarychadz May 06, 2022 6:20PM ET
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Russian bot
 
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