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What Putin’s Victory Day speech means for the war

What Putin’s Victory Day speech means for the war

Every May 9th Russia celebrates Victory Day, an annual holiday commemorating the 1945 Soviet triumph over Nazi Germany in World War II (known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War).

This year, President Vladimir Putin was widely expected to use the occasion to do one of two things: either declare victory in Ukraine and lay the groundwork for some sort of frozen conflict, or escalate—turning the “special military operation” into a proper war, ordering a general mobilization of the Russian people, announcing the annexation of Donetsk and Luhansk, or going nuclear (figuratively, though sadly not entirely) and taking the war to NATO.

As it turns out, he did neither.

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