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Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a military parade on Victory Day in Moscow.

Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Pool via REUTERS

Putin's "Victory Day" speech

Global elites and neonazis are waging a very unfair war against us. Check. The West seeks to destroy us and our values. Check. Shout out to China for fighting against Japanese imperialism. Huh? Interesting – check.

Vladimir Putin’s speech a few hours ago at Russia’s annual World War II victory celebration was about what you’d expect: Putin, now 14 months into a four-day war against Ukraine, is girding his people for a long-term conflict against the “West,” and hoping China will help.

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Podcast: The Ukraine war is destroying Putin’s reputation


Listen: Michael McFaul knows a thing or two about Russia and Putin from his days as the former US ambassador in Moscow. As Putin's Victory Day speech illustrated, Russia hasn't moved on much since 1945, McFaul tells Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast. But if the West goes too far, there's a much bigger risk: World War III. McFaul says that Putin signaled in his nothing-burger speech that Russia is ready to gobble up another chunk of Ukraine in the Donbas region, and explains why that gives Ukraine a stronger hand at the negotiating table.

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