President Vladimir V. Putin is due to visit the Russian city of Stalingrad on Thursday, which will commemorate the Soviets’ defeat of the Nazis in a decisive World War II battle, and is sure to try to rally domestic support for the Kremlin. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
At a “celebration concert” scheduled for Thursday in the city now known as Volgograd, Mr. The Kremlin said Putin would deliver a speech. Mr. Putin will also hold an in-camera meeting with members of patriotic and youth groups, the Kremlin said, with the Russian president likely to make some of his longest public remarks since December.
Stalingrad – the turning point in what Russians call the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet Union’s fight against the Nazis in World War II – Has totemic significance for Russians A symbol of wartime suffering, sacrifice and heroism. In 1943, the Soviets turned the tide of the invasion of Germany after a 200-day war that cost hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians.
Mr. For Putin, the code is central to his messaging to Russians to support his war in Ukraine, with Kremlin propaganda falsely portraying Ukrainians as modern-day Nazis and distorting reality to describe the Russian invasion as self-defense. War.
On Wednesday, for example, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry S. Peskov, Mr. Putin told reporters he would hold a meeting. And in a meeting with World War II veterans last month, Mr. Putin repeated his interpretation that Ukraine’s current government was carrying on the legacy of the Nazis of World War II.
At the January meeting of “Neo-Nazis Demonstrating in Ukraine,” Mr. Putin said he should be punished for “crimes against society”.
“Now it’s necessary to record everything they do, especially for civilians,” he said, falsely drawing parallels to Nazi crimes in World War II.
On Thursday Mr. Putin’s speech will come after he lays a wreath at the memorial museum at a concert commemorating the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, the Kremlin said. He last spoke at a major public event in Moscow’s Red Square in September. Russia’s illegal annexation is celebrated Four Ukrainian regions.
Ukraine faced Moscow with further military setbacks, forcing a Russian retreat from the city of Kherson in November. Mr. Putin is under pressure.
But Mr. Putin could use his comments on Thursday to insist that Russia will stay the course despite its difficulties. Asked Wednesday about the consequences of new Western arms deliveries to Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Mr. Peskov said they would lead to “an increase in the level of escalation.”
“It will demand more efforts from us,” Mr. Peskov said. Using the Kremlin’s euphemism for the invasion, he continued: “But, again, this will not change the course of events. The special military operation will continue.”