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A Worrying Deadline For Russia's War

Russia-Ukraine War Briefing

Next Monday, May 9th, is Victory Day in Russia - cause for a great amount of speculation (and fear) as to what Putin wants to prove by that deadline and what drastic measures he might take to cover losses in Ukraine. While this day in 1945 is celebrated as the day the Soviet Union defeated Nazi Germany, there is no cause for celebration in Moscow over Russia’s military advance in Ukraine, which is still referred to simply as a “special military operation”. But Putin needs some sort of victory here to parade before the public, and speculation tends to lean towards fear that he will use this opportunity to officially declare war on Ukraine. Others speculate that it will simply end up being a celebration packed with neo-Nazi propaganda, which in turn will be used to rally more recruits.

Declaring war on Ukraine, however, would confuse what is already a confusing war footing with unclear objectives: Is Putin attempting to annex Ukraine’s east and a land bridge that connects it to Crimea? Or, as some of his military generals seem to be pushing, is this really a war against NATO at large? Because of the disconnect emerging between Putin and various military/intelligence services with regard to ultimate objectives, we are inclined to lean towards a scenario in which Victory Day (and its runup) are largely characterized by a wildly intensified level of rhetoric, much of which is focused on selling the nuclear option idea…

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