With each passing day, the Russian -led war in Ukraine has become more deadly and disastrous, leading authorities to cancel major military events.
Russian casualties are on the rise.
Russian forces and a private military company called the Wagner Group have suffered daily casualties in Ukraine. While the loss rate has slowed in the past week, the fighting in March was particularly deadly, with an average of 400 to 500 killed and wounded daily.
So far, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reports that Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 180,590 Russian soldiers and destroyed extensive military equipment.
Given this situation, the traditional Victory Day parade, which celebrates the Russian triumph over Nazi Germany in World War II, has been canceled in several Russian regions near Ukraine.
Communication Challenges for the Kremlin
The decision to cancel the parade in some regions and keep it in others highlights a communications challenge for the Kremlin. Putin portrays Ukraine’s “special military operation” as fighting similar to the Soviet experience in World War II.
This comparison is risky since in World War II, Russia was attacked, while in Ukraine, Russia attacked. Furthermore, the Great Patriotic War is seen as a whole-nation effort, while the operation in Ukraine is poorly managed and not supported by everyone.
The risk of associating the war in Ukraine with the Second World War
By celebrating Victory Day and linking it to World War II, the Kremlin risks exposing the extent of recent losses it is trying to cover up, according to British military intelligence.
The situation in Ukraine is very different from Russia’s fight against Nazi Germany in World War II, and the Russian army in Ukraine is far from those who fought for freedom in the past.
Consequences of the Disaster in Ukraine
The Putin – led war in Ukraine has resulted in a disaster with a high cost in human lives and military equipment. The cancellation of the Victory Day parade in some Russian regions and the communication difficulties for the Kremlin show the tensions and contradictions around this conflict.