May 17, 2022

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Why this May 9 may become a historic day


This Saturday, Russia held its final rehearsal ahead of a traditional military parade on May 9 in Moscow to celebrate its victory over Nazi Germany, an opportunity to show strength at the center of the fighting Ukraine campaign.

In recent years, President Vladimir Putin has used this parade to show the strength of his military, sometimes releasing new sophisticated weapons. This version is no exception to the rule.

This year, if Russian tanks and soldiers march as usual on the iconic Red Square, the spirits will be in Ukraine, where Moscow is at the forefront, an attack that has called into question the image of his army since late February. . In fact, military intervention, many experts predict, is in its third month and is marked by setbacks, especially in logistics. Although the march is generally closely followed by Western capitals, Vladimir Putin will have a new opportunity to send warnings, while Moscow has repeatedly branded itself a nuclear threat. Given the context of this 2022, the scale of the event could jeopardize the support of the Russian people.

Designed during the Cold War

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the “Apocalypse” aircraft, specially designed to allow the Russian president to continue flying in the air in the event of a nuclear war, will fly over Ilyushin Il-80, Red Square. Designed during the Cold War, this giant aircraft acts as a flying bunker to protect senior Kremlin officials in the event of a nuclear attack. This “Apocalypse aircraft” is capable of flying for several days without landing by refueling the aircraft. Further provocation from Putin, he had already flown to the suburbs of Moscow on weekdays. It has been twelve years since the Russians took the Ilyushin IL-80 out of its hangar, its last official presentation at the parade on May 9, 2010. The aerial view will also be impressive with 77 aircraft and helicopters built on the Z. Symbol of support for the Russian invasion.

The Iars RS-24 will be armed with a number of weapons capable of launching nuclear missiles, such as the intercontinental ballistic system and the short-range Iskander system. This year, the military parade will take place, despite the Kremlin’s denial that such an operation is planned, amid fears of a public mobilization of many Russians over Ukraine. The May 9 march has not become an annual tradition since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Putin created a spectacular, slick television production aimed at intimidating Moscow’s opponents and asserting Russian patriotism.

J.M.

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