Putin's Victory Day brings evidence of defeat

By Leonid Bershidsky

09 May 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

In the view of Bloomberg's Leonid Bershidsky, Vladimir Putin's ill-judged assault on Ukraine has given him very little to celebrate. A year on, hardly anyone outside Russia is scared of him any more.

Victory Day on May 9, commemorating the Soviet Union's triumph over Nazi Germany in 1945, is still the biggest official holiday in Putin's Russia and the cornerstone of its ideology. This year, Moscow again celebrated with a military parade in Red Square and a Putin speech in front of the troops - despite what the Russian authorities called a narrowly thwarted Ukrainian drone attack on Putin's Kremlin residence last week (Ukraine denies involvement).

Yet Russia has rarely been as far removed from any kind of victory as it is today. Putin's biggest problem is that hardly anyone, apart from his suppressed, docile population, is scared of him anymore.

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