Many looked towards Moscow on May 9th to see what Vladimir Putin would say at the yearly victory parade that commemorates the end of World War Two in Russia. The span of things that were expected ranged from announcing a general mobilization, officially declaring war on Ukraine instead of calling it a special operation or any other imaginable escalation of the war up to the use of nuclear missiles. None of that happened. The speech held by Putin was more or less unremarkable and just rehashed his rhetoric of NATO aggression and the ideological battle between Russia and the Western world.
Interestingly, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko picked up some of that rhetoric and claimed that NATO is sabotaging Belarusian infrastructure and is more or less preparing an invasion of the country. While this and Putin’s speech are directed towards their own respective population for propaganda purposes, the question to what will come next can hardly be answered currently, especially when it comes to the developments of the last few days. The Russian offensive has once again stalled and Ukrainian forces have started a counter-offensive retaking ground around Kharkiv. On the Russian side there was the announcement that they would start the process of annexing Kherson, a region that would be an important steppingstone towards a land bridge to Crimea and connecting it to the Donbass region.
There is another event that a lot of eyes will be on in the coming days: Finland announced its decision to join NATO today and Sweden is expected to follow. With Finland enjoying guarantees by the UK, and Sweden by the USA, leaders are anxious to see the Russian reaction to the announcement as it has been described as a redline in the past.
There are many more stories besides the war in Ukraine and we invite you again to join us and discuss the state of the world and share your insight!
Global Crisis Watch 185
Friday, 13th May 10:00 am /BST/