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Tanks roll into Moscow for victory parade

Russian military vehicles are on their way to Red Square by passing through Tverskaya street during the rehearsal of Victory Day military parade marking the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, at Red Square in Moscow, Russia on May 07, 2022

But should Putin really be admitting defeat? His losses in Ukraine are mounting and his invasion has triggered a concerted NATO response that looks likely to dash his dreams. Today, 10,000 troops will march through Moscow, the capital of Russia. Tanks, missiles and planes will also be on display This is Victory Day in Russia. It is a celebration of Russia's victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. Russian president Vladimir Putin has made it into a major national event. It is designed to make Russia and himself look strong. This year it has a particular significance because Russia has invaded Ukraine. Ukrainians expect vicious attacks so that Putin can claim a victory in his speech. “For Putin, this is basically a symbolic day,” said Ukrainian politician Alonya Shkrum. “We are expecting that there will be quite tough times here." Some believe that Putin will declare formally that Russia is at war. He will undoubtedly repeat his lie that Ukrainians are “Nazis” and promise that they will be defeated. Putin hoped to have won the war completely by now. It has not gone according to plan. The Ukrainian resistance prevented a quick victory. Russian troops have been forced to retreat. Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have been killed, including 12 generals. Thousands of tanks have been destroyed and the famous ship Moskva was sunk on April 14th. Last week a spokesperson for the US government said that Russia had “already lost the war”. Some go further. They say that the invasion has made Russia's enemies much more united. NATO is an alliance that was formed to oppose the Soviet Union (which included Russia). It was struggling, but now it is growing. Finland and Sweden are submitting applications to join this month. Thousands of British, French and American troops and tanks have been stationed in Eastern Europe, not far from Russia. Sanctions are devastating the Russian economy and making life miserable for ordinary citizens. “It flipped a switch when the Russians attacked Ukraine,” said US Admiral Rob Bauer. Russia is holding a “victory” parade. But should Putin really be admitting defeat? Losing battle Yes: Putin has brought disaster upon himself. He has united the world in opposition to Russia and inflicted misery on his own people. This is a failure of historic proportions. No: Russia has had some setbacks, but this war is far from over. Ukrainian cities remain under siege and Putin may have some frightening tricks still up his sleeve. Or... The increased militarisation of the West is nothing to celebrate. It not only makes further wars more likely but also plays into Putin’s own narrative that Russia is victimised and under threat. The only real victory would be lasting peace.       KeywordsDeclare formally - So far Putin has not acknowledged that Russia is at war, describing the invasion instead as a "special military operation".

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