The things Putin said and didn't say on Victory Day

The things Putin said and didn't say on Victory Day

A preventive act to defend against the threat of a nuclear war, to defend Crimea from the danger of invasion posed by NATO countries and to face the Nazis who threaten the borders of Russia. This is the narrative used by Russian President Vladimir Putin, during his speech at the Soviet Victory Day against Nazi Germany, to justify the brutal unilateral attack on Ukraine and the devastation of the entire country.

Le things he said “Comrades officers, under officers, fellow generals and admirals, I congratulate you on the 77th anniversary of the great victory. Even now these days you are fighting for our people in Donbass, for the security of our homeland, so that no one can forget the lesson of the Second World War ", said Putin at the beginning of his speech, translated by CNN, with the aim to create a parallel between the Red Army troops who defeated the Nazis and the Russian invasion forces that entered Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

“The NATO countries did not want to listen to us, when last December we proposed to establish a security agreement. It means they had other plans. They had openly prepared attacks against our historic territories of Donbas and Crimea, while in Kiev there was talk of using nuclear weapons - continued Putin -. The NATO blockade militarized the territories on the border with Russia and therefore we could not accept this direct threat on our borders, posed by those who are undoubtedly Nazis. The danger grew every day and for this reason ours was a preventive act, a necessary and absolutely right decision ”.

The things he did not say With this rhetoric, carried out throughout the entire speech, Putin wanted to give birth to the idea that today Russia is once again facing the same threat in the imagination of his fellow citizens existential faced during the Second World War, when about 20 million Russians lost their lives. In his narration, the homeland is threatened by the Nazis themselves of seventy years ago and not by new ones, because in his speech he never uses the term neo-Nazis. And these Nazis do not come from any particular country, not even from Ukraine - which Putin has not mentioned even once - but from all over the West.

In this way, the Russian leader wants to support the need for invasion of the so-called "preventive military intervention", substantially overturning the reality of verifiable facts on the battlefield. Russia allegedly acted because it was threatened with nuclear war, to counter the advance of the Nazis and because "other countries", not better defined or named, were planning attacks on the territories of the "motherland" of Donbas and Crimea. However, there was no Western plan to invade these two territories and it was Russia that first advanced and invaded the whole of Ukraine.

Furthermore, never directly naming Ukraine or its government, On the one hand, Putin rhetorically canceled the existence of the country and of President Volodymyr Zelensky. On the other hand, he implicitly argued that his "military operation" is limited to the territories closest to the Russian border, to the "historical territories" that have always been part of Russia and in which Russian soldiers are fighting to save the "motherland" from the danger of a Nazi aggression. In this way, he has given strength and authority to domestic propaganda, which claims that Ukraine is not actually being invaded and that Ukrainians themselves are staging the devastating images we have been seeing for almost three months now.

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