Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Victory Anniversary speech had unexpected results. The week had speculated on May 9th as the day he would add fuel to the fire, but he just repeated why his country invaded Ukraine and never mentioned the name of the neighboring country. It was. Russian expert Jan Balliauw, correspondent Geert Groot Koerkamp, ​​and international affairs teacher Laurien Crump explain why.

Many things have been said and written in the last few weeks. Today was May 9th, or the day of victory for Russia in 1945 to commemorate the surrender of Nazi Germany. It is one of the country’s most important holidays and is traditionally celebrated with a military parade and a speech by the President of Russia.

The west was out of breath and clenched his hips to see the speech. It was feared that Putin would capture the moment when he officially declared the war with Ukraine and announced the general mobilization of Ukraine or part of the annex. When it didn’t happen today, the mouth opened.

What did Putin say in his speech?

President Putin reiterated why Russia launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24th. According to Putin, Ukraine planned to launch a military attack in the Donbas region in the eastern part of the country and the attached Crimean Peninsula with the help of the West.

“We saw the military infrastructure upgraded and hundreds of military advisors regularly supplied by NATO,” Putin said. “The danger increased day by day. Russia preemptively rejected the invaders. It was necessary, timely and appropriate.”

Read more about speech in this article.

There is no other option today

“The Kremlin has already said recently that no such announcement will come,” said Russian expert Jan Barrio. “Of course, today was a little holy day for the Russians. He (President Putin) didn’t want to confuse that special day with a new announcement.”

Therefore, Putin chose a speech that was significantly milder than his previous speeches. Laurien Crump, Senior Lecturer of International Relations at Utrecht University, said:

Putin seems to be counting his knots and is aware that he will not escalate any further to his side.

Laurien Clamp-Senior Lecturer of International Relations

“I don’t think this is his preferred strategy because he can’t do much else,” she continues. “Russian precision weapons are almost gone, even in Donbus (Eastern Ukraine). Russians are stuck. He says he is trying to reduce the number of fighters a little and create the virtues of need. I think. We are moving toward the release of escalation. “

In addition, Putin is shooting himself with his feet by announcing general mobilization. “If Putin had done so, he would have categorically broken the story that the Russians had been presented for months, that is, everything was going according to plan,” correspondent Geert Groot Koerkamp said. explain. “General mobilization will admit that things aren’t going as said or expected.”

Nothing to celebrate

Very early in the conflict, it became clear in the West that not everything was going as Putin wanted. In fact, Russia has nothing to celebrate today, says Balliauw. “The only successful attack at this time is the Ukrainian army north of Kharkov.”

Therefore, it is impossible to claim victory today and it will be difficult to change the course immediately. “Russia suffered great losses in both people and supplies. If Russia could replenish it, it would take time to replenish it. Even with mobilization, the recruitment system must be trained first. The training alone takes weeks, not months. “”

The goal has not been achieved yet

However, the end of the war in Ukraine is not yet visible. “After all, Russia hasn’t achieved that goal yet,” explains Balliauw. “It’s not yet clear what the goal is, but Russia isn’t there yet, even if it achieves the minimum goal of conquering the entire Donbus and the overpass to Crimea.”

Russia is not yet there, even if it achieves the minimum goal of conquering the entire Donbus and the overpass to Crimea

Jan Balliauw-Russian expert on VRTNWS

“The speech made it clear that he (Putin) is no longer talking about Ukraine as a whole,” Crump said. “In this speech he did not deny the existence of the whole of Ukraine, as he did before.”

“I think Russia’s ultimate goal is for Ukraine not to join NATO. Moreover, Crimea has actually become Russia’s official territory, and Donbus is also recognized as an autonomous territory. This has already been done for Russia. It was a scenario that Ukraine had invaded, and that’s what Putin is currently trying to achieve to get something out of this war. “

Misjudgment

According to Crump, the Russian president is deeply concerned about Russia’s security. “This was a first strike as NATO is heading east,” he commented to NATO, which is unlikely from our point of view. NATO does not intend to invade Russia, but for many Russians and Putin it feels different when many of your countries border on established military alliances. To keep out the Russians

Balliauw also admits that the West made a mistake in the assessment there. “One of the mistakes Western leaders are currently admitting is, of course, the promise of Ukraine to join NATO. After that, Russia was assumed to be not strong enough to take countermeasures. As a result. Russia has begun modernizing its army. Carry out its operation in Ukraine. “

One of the currently accepted mistakes is, of course, the promise of Ukraine to join NATO.

Jan Balliauw-Russian expert on VRTNWS

That threat from the West is in line with the story Putin wanted to bring to his own people today (again). “The intention (in his speech) was not what we were afraid of, but a new attack, but justifying the aggression. He made the Russians a victim, not a perpetrator. That view has contributed to Russia’s support for the attack in Ukraine. “

And what Putin didn’t say or do today, he can always say or do tomorrow. By not doing what was expected today, he still keeps all options open.

Source: vrt

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