The port city of Mariupolwith the 90% of its urban center destroyed due to the more than two months military siege at the hands of the russian troopswill be, without a doubt, the main focus of attention this year in the celebrations of the May 9day on which Russia commemorates the victory over Nazi Germany. As this locality is the only palpable achievement of the self-proclaimed special operation in Ukraine, to that same place has moved, during the past week, Sergei Kiriyenkoan adviser close to the president Vladimir Putin. There, with the din of fighting at the nearby Azovstal plant in the background, the Russian president’s ally unveiled a monument to ‘Babushka Anya‘, a pensioner from a Kharkiv hamlet that on a day in April, as recorded in a authenticated footagewent out to meet ukrainian soldiers with a Soviet flag thinking they were the Putin’s troops.

‘Babushka Anya’, also known asBabushka Z’ –Z is the distinctive letter of the Russian armored vehicles that have entered Ukraine– it has become everything a symbol for the Kremlin. shows that there is still nostalgic ukrainians from the Soviet past who yearn for the reunification of both countries, and it fits perfectly into the narrative of back to the pastto the greatness of a country that during decades disputed the world hegemony To USA. All these propaganda efforts, however, fail to hide a bitter reality hard to digest in Moscow: the war is not going along the paths that the minds that planned it foresaw. And it is even possible that during the festive day a rudder stroke by the Russian president, including the possibility of admitting, once and for all, that, more than a “special operation”, the country is facing a war that requires exceptional measures.

To this theory have been subscribed both western leaders as featured mediaciting experts. Ben Wallace, number two of the British Ministry of Defense, has assured that he would not be surprised if Putin takes advantage of the militaristic ephemeris to declare that the country is at war “with all the Nazis in the world”, which would include declaring the general mobilization and proclaim even the martial lawpossibilities all of them categorically denied by the presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov. “They are nonsense”reacted, angry, this Friday.

“Reality Doesn’t Matter”

Yevhen Fedchenkowebmaster Stop Fakewhich constantly denounces the disinformation maneuvers Russians, doubts that the Kremlin leader ends up adopting such drastic measures. “With the current situation, Putin does not risk anything; in Russia, reality does not matter, it matters what television says, and it does not stop repeating that the operation is going well, that the planned objectives are being achieved; things being that way, everyone is happy, especially the citizens, who continue to see the war as something distant, like in Syria”, he values ​​for EL PERIÓDICO.

In the opinion of this expert propaganda Y fake news campaigns, the Russian head of state is in a relatively comfortable situation, a reality that would change radically in the case of ordering the general mobilization. “That would mean involve society in the conflict, do it participantwhich would give wings to the opponents, who during the first weeks demonstrated but of whom nothing has been heard lately,” he warns.

Regardless of what the Kremlin leader may or may not say in his traditional speech before the military parade in Moscow, expectations are centered on the possible news that they can present the splendors compared to previous years on this important occasion. In particular, how these will solve the quadrature of the circle that supposes for a militarized country and with superpower aspirations celebrate a victory past, which occurred eight decades ago, when in fact he is engaged in another war in which, for the moment, he does not seem to be winning. And in this area, luck does not seem to be on the Kremlin’s side either, because some of the propaganda options that have been considered have had to be rejected precisely due to the spiral of violence in the conflict.

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The main one, the possibility of carrying out a Military Parade in the martyred Mariúpol, has had to be ruled out in the face of the fighting that is still taking place in the town, as admitted by the Peskov himself. “A day will come when there will be a great celebration there,” the same source has promised firmly. Nor is it plausible to organize in the areas recently conquered by the Kremlin the so-called ‘Immortal Regiment, the marches of citizens, supposedly voluntary, who carry portraits of their deceased ancestors during the Second World War.

And it is that in places like Kherson, for weeks under Russian control, the demonstrations against the occupation they happenand Moscow is having great difficulty establishing an administration there with a minimum of legitimacy. “Very few people have changed sides,” explains Fedchenko. “The Russians – the analyst continues – are trying court Ukrainian citizens who in the past were part of our pro-russian political partiesbut these have fear to take the step, since they do not trust a long-term occupation and they fear that they could be called into question if the Russians end up withdrawing from the country” as has already happened in many other places in Ukraine.


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