On May 9th, Russia celebrated "Victory Day," marking an anniversary for Russia over Nazi Germany in World War II. The Soviet Union, then including not only Russia but also Ukraine, Belarus and others, lost 27 million people in what Russians call the "Great Patriotic War," more than any other country.
Russia celebrated one of its most important public holidays with speeches and celebrations across the nation, with Putin referring to any other global criticisms of Russia's war in Ukraine as "waging war on Russia." For Putin, it is an opportunity to project an image of Russia as a powerful nation of winners to his citizens, conveying the belief that he is standing on the right side of history in defeating fascism.
Putin has continued to compare the war in Ukraine, where Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion in February 2022, to fighting Hitler and the Nazis. Ukraine and its Western allies have actively denied these claims.
As Putin shared speeches and celebrated in Moscow's Red Square, Ukraine decided to mock the celebrations in their own way.
Russia presented a parade with a single tank dating back to 1940. This tank rolled down through Moscow's Red Square waving a Russian flag and a single soldier holding a salute. In response, Ukraine's Ministry of Defense mocked the Russian forces by playing Eric Carmen's popularized song, "All by Myself."
Satire frequently used from Ukraine to Russia
Ukrainian forces mocked Russia's attempt to depict themselves as a strong, respected force through satire - a tool that has been used on the receiving end since the war began.
Ukraine also marked V-day by working to strengthen Ukraine's presence in the European Union
We watched Russia's "Victory Day" parade today with great interest.
Our tribute: pic.twitter.com/56evOrTcnn
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) May 9, 2023
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he discussed European integration, defense matters and sanctions against Russia at talks on Tuesday with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
After talks held in Kyiv as Russia celebrated the anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, Zelensky said he expected the European Union to soon approve more sanctions on Russia over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.