Ukraine: The Kremlin lowers its goals for May 9 celebrations

May 9 may not be a key date in the Russo-Ukrainian War. Rumors have been circulating for weeks that the Kremlin will officially declare a partial or total victory over the so-called “Nazi” Ukrainian regime on this day, the anniversary of that over Germany 77 years ago.

Recently, there has been talk, on the contrary, of declaring war, with a general mobilization to take the Russian operation to a higher level, or declaring the annexation of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in Ukraine.

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But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced on Sunday evening that “our army will not artificially adjust its movements at any date.” Declaring any victory next Monday is less likely because his army is stalling and has won only a few localities in the two weeks of attacking in the Donbass.

As for the general mobilization that could affect popular support for the intervention in Ukraine, it would make no sense given the current reserves of Russian military equipment and its logistical problems. Moscow has already deployed two-thirds of its ground offensive capabilities in Ukraine, of which it will lose about a quarter, according to Western sources. The May 9 celebrations could then be limited to a parade of 10,000 soldiers and about 110 vehicles, a slightly smaller number than usual, in front of the Kremlin.

Fighting and bombing have not changed the front lines in the past four days, with the exception of Izyum and Severodonetsk, where Kyiv has realized a “difficult situation” and the Ukrainian advance near the city of Kerkhiv in the north. Kyiv accuses Moscow of carrying out indiscriminate raids on civilian sites.

The Ukrainian Air Force and hacking saboteurs appear to be stepping up their attacks on Russian fuel and ammunition depots. Kyiv did not claim any of them, only blaming the Russian “vineyard” for the outbreak of fires or bombings of dozens of sites since the beginning of April. On Monday alone, a fire broke out at an ammunition factory in the city of Perm, while explosions were heard near Belgorod, a key city for the Russian army’s logistical support near the border, and smoke was ignited at two fuel depots in the Russian city of Perm. Bryansk.

New marine reverse

Russian naval operations, for its part, suffered another setback, two weeks after the loss of the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the missile cruiser “Moskva”: Kyiv announced the destruction of two Turkish-made Raptor fast patrol boats, near Snake Island in the Black Sea. The latter has become a symbol of resistance in Ukraine since a widely circulated radio exchange on social networks, in which Ukrainian border guards on the first day of the conflict shouted “Damn you, Russian military ship!!” to the Russian cruiser while Moskva ordered them to surrender .. before their capture. If The attack took place close to the Ukrainian coast, Kyiv now has anti-ship batteries with a range of up to 300 km.

Destroy two birds of prey

The fact remains that Ukraine can no longer export anything by sea from the coast it still controls, between Transnistria and Kherson. Kyiv also officially announced on Monday the closure of its four ports controlled by Russian forces, Mariupol, Berdyansk and Skadovsk on the Sea of ​​Azov, as well as the port of Kherson on the Black Sea. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that the blockade imposed by Russian forces on the Black Sea could lead to the loss of tens of millions of tons of grain. Ukraine is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of agricultural products, especially grain, and this situation causes international prices to rise, with serious consequences for some countries in Africa and Asia.

Embassies reopen

At the same time, the reopening of Western embassies continues in Kyiv, where Russian bombings are now extremely rare. He is scheduled to be in the US at the end of the month. France, like most other European countries, reopened its embassy in mid-April. On another diplomatic front, traditionally good relations between Russia and Israel suddenly deteriorated after Sergey Lavrov’s statements that the Ukrainian president’s Jewish origins did not prevent him from being a Nazi on the grounds that “Hitler also had Jewish blood.” Jerusalem considered this remark “false and unforgivable.”

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