When Russia invaded the Crimean peninsula in February 2014, the swift conquest assured that Vladimir Putin could make the trip to the recently annexed territory for Victory Day on May 9 of that year. The day marks the victory of the Red Army against Nazi Germany in World War II, but also serves to underline Russia’s military power. Given that the current invasion of Ukraine started in February, it isn’t far-fetched to believe that Putin once envisioned himself standing in what he would consider a “liberated” Ukraine on Victory Day. However, despite a long-awaited clue about the direction of the war, Putin’s speech in Moscow revealed little about the autocrat’s plans.
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