“German tanks are threatening us again”: On Thursday, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Hitler’s armies in Stalingrad, Vladimir Putin drew a parallel between his campaign in Ukraine and the war against National Socialism.
• Also read: Quebec Pee-Wee Tournament: A Ukrainian goalkeeper is relieved to be far from the bombs
• Also read: Washington sends long-range missiles to Ukraine
The next day, in a statement transmitted by Russian press agencies, the Kremlin lord again threatened Westerners, raising the specter of a “modern war” with Russia.
“Those who hope to defeat Russia on the battlefield do not seem to understand that a modern war with Russia will be very different for them. »
For years, the Russian president has presented himself as a staunch defender of the memory of the USSR’s triumph over Nazi Germany, which inspires great pride in Russia and has become a virtual state cult.
And since the start of his offensive in Ukraine on February 24, Vladimir Putin has fully mobilized this fantasy, assuring that the political leaders in power in Kyiv are “neo-Nazis” who are the origin of a “genocide against the Russian-speaking population.” would have population of this neighboring country.
On Thursday, before medal-strewn soldiers and officials assembled in Volgograd (southwest), formerly Stalingrad, he drove the point home again.
“It’s unbelievable, but German Leopard tanks with crosses painted on them are threatening us again,” he said, comparing Hitler’s tanks to Leopard 2 tanks.
Bust of Stalin inaugurated
The Battle of Stalingrad (1942-1943) is considered one of the bloodiest in history with a total of around two million dead and changed the course of the conflict.
The Soviet victory in this city takes on additional symbolic significance as the first anniversary of the start of the military operation in Ukraine approaches on February 24, 2022, at a time when the Russians are stepping up their attacks in the east of that country after a series of setbacks in the autumn.
On the eve of the 80th anniversary of the Victory of Stalingrad, a bust of Stalin was unveiled in Volgograd, a city of over a million inhabitants on the banks of the Volga.
Russian authorities have had an ambivalent attitude towards Stalin since the fall of the USSR: he was officially denounced for the state terror he orchestrated in the 1930s and was still buried in front of the Kremlin in Red Square until his death in 1953.
He remains respected by many Russians, who highlight his role in Nazi Germany’s defeat by the Soviet Union.
A military parade was held in Volgograd on Thursday. Wreaths of flowers were also laid in large numbers on Mamayev Kurgan, a strategic hill that has been the subject of terrible fighting and has for decades been a place of pilgrimage for those wishing to pay tribute to the exploits of the Red Army.