Putin ‘knows he’s losing’ in Ukraine says Andrew Bolt

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Vladimir Putin delivered a speech in Moscow’s Red Square to mark the annual Victory Day celebrations in Russia which commemorate the Soviet Union’s triumph over Nazi Germany in World War 2. Sky News Australia host Andrew Bolt discussed the speech on-air and believes the event demonstrated that Putin knows the war in Ukraine is going badly for Russia and that the Kremlin “can’t afford to escalate.”

Mr Bolt told Sky News Australia: “People were saying well look he might actually now use this May 9 to declare war, I mean all-out war as if it isn’t already.

“Or a national conscription drive in Russia but he didn’t do that, so that’s one thing to be grateful for.

“Instead he just said, I had to take us into this stupid, he didn’t say stupid I said stupid, war because otherwise we would have been invaded by Ukraine or, or NATO or some idiot conspiracy campaign like that and he ended with a great rousing let’s go to his soldiers.

“Do you know what that tells me? That tells me he knows is losing and can’t afford to escalate.”

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He added: “I think this is very, very interesting.”

Putin evoked the memory of Soviet heroism in World War Two to inspire his army fighting in Ukraine, but offered no new road map to victory and acknowledged the cost in Russian soldiers’ lives.

Addressing massed ranks of service personnel on Red Square on the 77th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany, Putin condemned what he called external threats to weaken and divide Russia, and repeated familiar arguments that he had used to justify Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24 – that NATO was creating threats right next to its borders.

He directly addressed soldiers fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, which Russia has pledged to “liberate” from Kyiv’s control.

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“You are fighting for the Motherland, for its future, so that no one forgets the lessons of World War Two.

“So that there is no place in the world for executioners, castigators and Nazis,” he said.

His speech included a minute of silence. “The death of each one of our soldiers and officers is our shared grief and an irreparable loss for their friends and relatives,” said Putin, promising that the state would look after their children and families.

He was addressing Russia on one of its most important annual holidays, when the nation honours the 27 million Soviet citizens who lost their lives in the struggle to defeat Adolf Hitler – a source of national pride and identity.

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Preceded by a stirring fanfare, Putin delivered his address after a group of eight high-stepping guards marched across the cobbles of Red Square carrying the Russian tricolour flag and the red Soviet hammer-and-sickle victory banner, accompanied by stirring martial music.

The assembled troops responded with cries of Ura! as Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu crossed the square in a black limousine, saluting units including missile, national guard and paratroop units and congratulating them on the anniversary.

Putin’s speech was followed by a parade across the vast square featuring Russia’s latest Armata and T-90M Proryv tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and intercontinental ballistic missiles. A planned fly-past was cancelled because of cloudy conditions.

As he has before, Putin carried a photograph of his father, also called Vladimir, in naval uniform, who the Kremlin said had fought on the front line.

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