- Russia has scaled down its May 9 Victory Day military parade by almost 35%.
- Victory Day, which marks the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany, is meant to showcase Russian military strength.
- This year, the slimmed-down parade will show that Russia is aware of losses in Ukraine, per The Moscow Times.
Russia has scaled down its May 9 Victory Day military parade by almost 35%, according to Forbes.
The annual parade through Red Square, which marks the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, is usually a showpiece of Russian military power.
But Forbes reported that this year’s slimmed-down affair, due to take place on Monday, will more likely highlight the country’s military weakness in Ukraine.
There will be only 129 military vehicles and 10,000 personnel, compared to about 191 military vehicles and about 12,000 military personnel in 2021, according to information published by Russia’s Defense Ministry, per The Moscow Times.
The usual contingent of Rosvgardia forces will be absent, Forbes reported, as many are fighting in Ukraine. The number of Russian infantry fighting vehicles, or Kurganets-25, participating in the parade has been cut by 50%, the media outlet said.
Fewer tanks will be on display, according to The Moscow Times, likely because Ukrainian has destroyed hundreds of them.
Russia is presenting 15 helicopters for parade duty, down from 23 in 2021, after the loss of aircraft in Ukraine, Forbes reported.
An expert told The Moscow Times that the scaling down is linked to Russia’s military failings in the deadly invasion of Ukraine.
“The reduction of the parade shows that the Russian government is both aware of the losses [in Ukraine] and is trying to manage how to deal with them,” said Aglaya Snetkov, an expert in Russian foreign policy at University College London, in an interview with The Moscow Times.
Ukraine claims “colossal” Russian losses have taken place during their effort to fully capture the Donbas region. Numbers are difficult to verify, but some estimates have the Russian death toll since the start of the invasion at over 20,000.
Western officials have suggested that the Kremlin might use the Victory Day parade to declare an all-out war on Ukraine or to announce general mobilization. Russia denies this.
Any announcement comes at a time when Putin is seeking to double down on the Russian offensive, according to the CIA’s director, Insider reported.
And the Russian leader is expected to try to raise morale by using the “Z” wartime symbol at the parade and by making speeches drawing parallels between the Ukraine war and the defeat of Nazism, The Moscow Times said.
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