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‘Putin and his generals are now mirroring fascism’: UK Defence Secretary Wallace

While grand celebrations are held in Moscow to celebrate victory over Nazism, NATO and EU politicians are not mincing their words, explicitly accusing the current Russian regime of replicating Nazi Germany actions during World War Two.

Putin spews threadbare propaganda during scaled-down victory parade

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At the Victory Parade annually held in Moscow Putin delivered a speech, repeating the same line about Russia never being the aggressor and having to fight enemies again, Ben Wallace, UK’s Secretary of State for Defence, laid out his view in simple terms:

“Through the invasion of Ukraine, Putin and his inner circle of generals are now mirroring fascism and tyranny of 77 years ago, repeating the errors of the last century’s totalitarian regime,” said Secretary Wallace in a speech delivered at the National Army Museum.

In response to Putin’s assertion that the “special military operation” in Ukraine is necessary to prevent NATO’s invasion and dismemberment of Russia, Secretary Wallace said simply, that such invasion plans never existed, and that “President Putin has made a number of fairytale claims for months and years now.”

Secretary Wallace was also critical of the level of military training of the soldiers sent to make up for mounting casualties, which the Kremlin continues to hurl into the Ukrainian meat grinder, by referring to the poorly prepared replacements as “a sort of cannon fodder”, saying that Russia’s “top brass have failed their own rank and file to the extent they should face court martial.”

Mr Wallace said that the Russian army’s involvement in the aggression against Ukraine dishonours not only the soldiers, but also the memory of those fallen in battle against nazism, whom the Kremlin regime claims to commemorate with its display of Russian “military might”. The British Secretary for Defence said that “for them [the Russian soldiers] and for Putin, there can be no Victory Day, only dishonour and surely defeat in Ukraine. They might seek to control Russia’s futures through their past. But in the end, the past always catches up with you.”

According to Secretary Wallace, this is exemplified by the war not going according to Putin’s plans. “Russia is not what it was. It’s lesser, not greater as a result of this. [Putin’s] armed forces have been exposed as not being these great superior armed forces that the world thought he had,” Mr Wallace said. But that is not what the Russian army is showing the world, and as a result of this, along with the atrocities perpetrated by Russian invaders against civilians, Putin has turned Russia into a “more isolated, lesser country, and he’s lost in the long run.”

Secretary Wallace stated that even though Russia is losing, the war may drag on for an indeterminate amount of time. He concluded that an effort must be made to “provide security and safety to Europe that involves Ukraine.” He emphasised that this will require a joint effort, involving NATO countries on the alliance’s so-called eastern flank, as well as local non-NATO members.

Reaction from NATO’s eastern flank

Gitanas Nausėda, President of Lithuania, gave an interview to LTR, Lithuania’s national broadcaster, in which he also spoke of the ongoing Victory Day celebrations. President Nausėda conceded, that Russians have the right to celebrate their country’s contribution to victory over German nazism, but that the day should “also be a moment in which they reflect on what is going on, on how [Russians] are exactly the same kind of aggressors, and occasionally even more brutal than nazis were during World War Two.” He believes that the Russian society has not yet come to “feel safe, calm down, and finally reject their messianistic, and imperialistic traditions.”

President Nausėda stressed, that the problem lies not in the fact that people want to commemorate their ancestors or show respect to those killed in the war, but when the celebrations “are merely an excuse for provocation, and primarily to escalate a new war or to make claims, that have nothing to do with honouring the dead, such situations must naturally be prevented.”

To prevent possible provocations, police posted additional patrols in places where Soviet soldiers are laid to rest or commemorated. For the next couple of days, around 400 police officers will be posted in 21 such places, said Arūnas Palauskas, the deputy head of Lithuanian police. “We will try to avoid conflict, not incite it. The police will only use force in exceptional circumstances, said Paulauskas, adding that all efforts will be taken to “resolve these situations in a peaceful manner.”

As of now, no incidents have been recorded, but the Lithuanian police did announce that they have reports of people who are determined to cause trouble. One of the ways in which it could be done would be by displaying the “Z” and “V” symbols, used by Russian forces during the invasion of Ukraine, and which have become a symbol of support for the aggression. These symbols were recently banned from public display by the Lituanian parliament, and attempts to do so are liable to a monetary fine. Another banned symbol is the black-yellow Ribbon of St. George taken from the St. George’s medal, which in the Russian army is used to denote elite units.

The latter symbol has been traditionally used in Victory Day celebrations by the Russian minority, which amounts to about 5 percent of Lithuania’s population and the majority of whom RE descended from people who settled in the country after it was annexed along with other Baltic states by the USSR in 1940, and then re-occupied after World War Two.

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