Puny military parade: make no mistake, Putin sets victory

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Opinion Puny military parade

Make no mistake – Putin is fully committed to victory

WELT commentator Jacques Schuster WELT commentator Jacques Schuster

WELT commentator Jacques Schuster

Source: Claudius Plough

Moscow’s May 9 military parade was surprisingly poor this year. However, it would be premature to draw any conclusions about the state of the army. Russia has always known how to deceive the world public – or, if necessary, to win wars with poor equipment.

“Russia is an enigma within a mystery, surrounded by a mystery.” Churchill’s words should be remembered whenever a view of Moscow reveals something that seems all too obvious – such as when viewing this year’s military parade commemorating the victory in Moscow Second World War.

Compared to previous spectacles on May 9th, the showmanship was miserable this time. Are the sanctions working? Are the 13,000 individual measures that the West has imposed on Russia gradually making themselves felt? Are the armored cars tractor-like chugging past Vladimir Putin’s grandstand, an expression of decline? Hasty conclusions are not allowed.

There are two traditions in the history of the Russian military, by Peter the Great from Leonid Brezhnev to Vladimir Putin: the miserable condition of the army, about which there have been numerous studies and caustic satirical reports by Russian satirists, and the horrible tendency towards scorched earth.

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Napoleon was the first Westerner to brand this tendency after his defeat in Moscow as a “war of annihilation,” “a terrible tactic unprecedented in cultural history.” Both facts are just as much a part of Russian military history as the drunkenness of the soldiers, about which one commander-in-chief has been complaining after the other for 200 years. Still, Russia won wars, though not all of them. It therefore makes little sense to use the Moscow exhibition for any evidence whatsoever.

In any case, Putin’s rhetorical thunderbolts have lost none of their ferocity. Surrounded by smiling slaves, moral cretins, and smallpox-faced tyrants, he’s unwaveringly committed to victory. But what happens if he doesn’t come? Nikita Khrushchevone of his predecessors, knew the answer: “Any idiot can start a war, and once he has made it, even the brightest are helpless to end it.”



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