Putin marks Victory Day with Moscow military parade, speech

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to mark Victory Day, celebrating the Soviet Union’s World War II triumph over Nazi Germany with a grand display of military might and a speech from Moscow’s Red Square.

Progress in Ukraine has eluded Putin, with Russian forces devastating but far from defeating the country in a war that has ground on for more than two months. With his military failing to secure the gains Putin may have wanted in order to declare success, analysts have speculated about whether the Kremlin may use the occasion to further escalate its struggling campaign.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that Russia may have already intensified its attacks ahead of the annual holiday, with at least 60 people feared dead after an airstrike on a school where people were sheltering in an eastern Ukraine village on Sunday.

In Mariupol, a key port city, the final civilians were evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant where the city’s last Ukrainian defenders have held out under fire and siege, frustrating Moscow’s efforts at securing what would be a crucial strategic and symbolic victory.

Read full coverage of the war here.

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