Moscow | Vladimir Putin celebrated Saturday, Russia’s “invincible”, during the commemorations of the victory over nazi Germany, a ceremony without pomp and or great military parade due to the pandemic of sars coronavirus.
On 9 may, with its grand parade of arms, symbolizes of ordinary foreign policy offensive of the Russian president, who has orchestrated in recent years the return of the power of his country on the international stage.
This time, speaking under a thin rain after the filing of the roses in front of the flame of the unknown soldier at the foot of the Kremlin, Mr Putin praised in a speech that is brief and sober in the memory of the veterans, without mentioning directly the epidemic, which is progressing in Russia.
“We pay a tribute everlasting to the great feat of sacrifice of the soviet people”, said Vladimir Putin, who has made 9 may be a key element of its policy of greatness and patriotism that it advocates.
United and invincible
“We know and we have firm faith, to be invincible when we are united,” he added, before a minute of silence.
The soldiers in the uniforms of the ceremonial present stood a good distance away from the head of State, who is confined in his residence in the suburbs of Moscow for several weeks.
Speaking then in front of the military within the walls of the Kremlin, Mr Putin promised that “all development plans of the army and of the fleet will be made” and that they will be equipped with “the most modern equipment”, despite the economic crisis due to the new coronavirus.
The commemorations of the defeat of nazi, are thus held Saturday, without parade on the Red square, without the crowds in the streets and without the audience of foreign leaders surrounding Vladimir Putin.
Only the aerial part of the parade has been held with dozens of planes and helicopters flying over Moscow. Above the Red square, a squadron was drawn with smoke grenades, the Russian flag in the sky.
Mr Putin has therefore promised that the country will at a later date “appropriately” to his victory in the Second world War, where he died some 27 million Soviets.
For weeks, the Kremlin was reluctant to keep the festivities before the reporter in response to the worsening of the epidemic. Russia had Saturday, more than 198 000 confirmed cases and 1827 deaths, including more than half in Moscow, which has extended its containment until may 31.
Because of the pandemic, the president has had to postpone also sine die another event close to her heart: the constitutional referendum in front of him to open the way for a possible continuation in power until 2036.
To replace the parade of the “Regiment immortal”, which brings together typically the hundreds of thousands of people holding portraits of veterans, the Russians have been invited to go out in the evening on the balcony with photos of relatives who fought, and to sing a famous song of the soviet union.
Vladimir Putin has said that he would join “with pleasure” this initiative, without saying how.
The Russian president has placed in recent years on the role of the USSR in the defeat of the nazi at the heart of a discourse of power and prestige, opening up a battle of memory with the west, which Moscow accuses of minimizing the role of the soviet in the victory.
The parade of 9 may symbolize usually also the foreign policy offensive of Vladimir Putin.
This return to Russian was made for the west in defiance of international law with the annexation of the Crimea Ukrainian in 2014, or at the price of bombing murderers in Syria when Moscow intervened militarily in 2015.
But reversing the course of the war and help Bashar al-Assad to stay in power, Moscow has positioned itself as an unavoidable interlocutor in the Middle East.
Belarus, whose president Alexander Lukashenko regularly condemns the novel coronavirus as “a psychosis”, for its part, maintained its parade in Minsk.
In front of a crowd of spectators, 4000 soldiers and dozens of military aircraft on parade. The world health Organization had yet called to give it up in order to not “risk human life”.