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Putin’s Victory Parade – a horrific Orwellian exercise, Khots says

Troops in armoured personnel carriers salute during the Victory Day parade. Photograph: Grigory Dukor/Reuters
Troops in armoured personnel carriers salute during the Victory Day parade. Photograph: Grigory Dukor/Reuters
Putin’s Victory Parade – a horrific Orwellian exercise, Khots says

“’The Victory Parade’ in Putin’s Russia is unique in its absurdity, one in which an imperial army presents itself as ‘defenders of the motherland,’ occupiers as liberators, and invaders as anti-fascists,” Aleksandr Khots says. It is thus “a hybrid parade of ‘heroes’ of a hybrid war,” of “totalitarianism under the mask of anti-fascism.”

German general Heinz Guderian and Soviet brigade commander Semion Krivosheyin during the joint parade in occupied Brest-Litovsk to celebrate the transfer of the city from the German to Red Army troops. General Mauritz von Wiktorin on left, Sept. 22, 1939
German general Heinz Guderian and Soviet brigade commander Semion Krivosheyin during the joint parade in occupied Brest-Litovsk to celebrate the transfer of the city from the German to Red Army troops. General Mauritz von Wiktorin on left, Sept. 22, 1939

The Russian opposition journalist points out that “a military parade by definition is a symbolic event connected with the present even if it is devoted to past victories because the army with its ‘patriotism’ and militarism is always (especially in Russia) an instrument of present-day policy.”

The military parade in Moscow today features not the weapons that Soviet forces used against the Germans in World War II but those they have used against Ukraine and other countries in recent times. And among those marching and being celebrated were those who invaded and occupied Ukrainian cities.

In short, Khots says, this parade is “a parade of hybrid murderers and occupiers who hide themselves under the mask of ‘liberators’ and ‘anti-fascists.’”

The commentator doesn’t say but for half of Europe, Stalin’s victory in 1945 was much the same: it brought them not freedom but a half century of enslavement.

No one should be deceived by references to 1945 and “the immortal regiments,” he continues. The only meaning of this parade for those who organized it and the only meaning they want others to take away from it is that Moscow again has “a strong instrument for its imperial policies of occupation.”

“It is no accident,” Khots says, that among the portraits of “the immortal regiment” are people like Zakharchenko, “Motorola” and “Givi,” people who weren’t even born when the victory supposedly being celebrated occurred but who have been conducting a war for Moscow against Ukraine in recent years.

According to the Russian journalist, today’s event is best understood as “the parade of an occupation army, a demonstration of the powers of the Russian regime, an instrument of militarization and stupefaction of ‘the popular masses’ – under the cheap camouflage of past ‘historical victories.”

“For a long time already,” he concludes, we have been living in a country of total imitations, from ‘elections’ to ‘democracy,’ ‘constitutionality,’ ‘division of powers,’ ‘an independent court system,’ and ‘a parliament.’” Thus, no one should be surprised that a Victory Parade under Putin would be “such a cheap imitation of its initial meaning, false and cynical.”


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