After the swaggering celebrations, a “Now what?” moment for Russia

Chinese troops marching on the Red Square.

The extraordinary pomp around the celebration of the V-Day made it possible for Putin to sustain the momentum of mobilization created by last year’s Crimean anschluss. Now that the fanfare and fireworks have fallen silent, this momentum may dissipate—and Putin, who has made himself into the central figure in militarized festivities, can ill afford such a slackening of “patriotic” fervor. The heavy emphasis on the decisive and glorious victory won by the “grandfathers” sits poorly with the evasive and ambivalent discourse on the on-going war with “brotherly” Ukraine. For the aggressively “patriotic” propaganda, it is hard to explain the point of demonstrating all the tanks and missiles, if there is no intention to use them for achieving another great victory for Russia. Reckoning with reality is not an option for Putin, but the stock of other useful “national projects” is quite exhausted.

This is the final passage from the article in Eurasia Daily Monitor, May 11.

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