Stalingrad, Vladimir Putin summons memory of German tanks

During the celebration of the 80th anniversary of Soviet victory over the Nazis, the Russian leader did not hesitate to draw a parallel with the delivery of Western tanks to kyiv.

By Benoît Vitkine (Moscow, correspondent)

Even accompanied by anachronism, the subject is perfectly clear: “Incredible but true, German tanks threaten us again on the land of Ukraine.” No matter if the commissioning of the Leopard chariot dates back to 1965 , the essential is said: for Vladimir Putin, the Ukrainian army is indeed the heiress of the Wehrmacht, and contemporary Germany is hardly better than its Nazi version.

The message is even more clearly pronounced from Volgograd, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Soviet victory of Stalingrad, the former name of this Southern Russian city. Throughout the celebrations, Thursday, February 2, the Russian president shot the parallel. “Today, we unfortunately see that the Nazi ideology – in a modern form – again creates direct threats to the security of our country, and that we are once again forced to repel the aggression of the collective Western “, He launched to the gallery, facing veterans and officials.

The Head of State was expressed for the first time concerning the deliveries of heavy armored vehicles announced in recent weeks by several Western countries, including the Leopard 2 Germans. And, without surprise, he brandished the threat: “We will not send our tanks at their borders, but we have enough to answer and that will not be limited to armored vehicles.” Questioned a little later to know if he had to see a new allusion to nuclear weapons, the Kremlin spokesman was content to warn that Moscow will use “all of his potential”.

role of the victim

The reference to Nazism to discredit the opponent is not a novelty either in the Putinian speech – the “denazification” of Ukraine and the “genocide” which would have been committed there was even served as a pretext for launch of “Special Military Operation”, February 24, 2022. But never before Vladimir Putin had forced the comparison as much.

The goal is twofold: it is not only to reassure the Russians as to the inevitable nature of victory, but also to place Russia again and again in the role of the victim. Thursday morning, the Ministry of Defense still proclaimed: “The attempted lightning war launched by the West against Russia in 2022 failed.”

The link made between the two conflicts, which appeared in large letters in the streets of Volgograd, also involves an ever -increasing glorification of the Soviet past, military glory crushing the other aspects. The day before Vladimir Putin’s arrival, a bust of Joseph Staline was revealed in the city, installed 100 meters from the monument to the victims of political repression at the time of the USSR. During the parade organized Thursday morning, local police had put on NKVD uniforms, the former political police.

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/Media reports cited above.