Vladimir Putin’s annual Navy Day parade looks dramatic from St Petersburg’s Neva River; it looks even better on state TV.
It costs nothing when it comes to showing people Russia How big and shiny their navy and armed forces are.
Remember April and the loss of Moscow – the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.
A direct hit Of Ukraine the defense ministry said; a fire on board according to Russia.
A blow to both Russia’s Black Sea prestige and capabilities. This is not the only loss to the Black Sea fleet, given that Ukraine’s navy has been in massive decline since the annexation of Crimea and is largely barricaded inside its ports, much like commercial shipping. its.
The Black Sea blockade was a major strategic victory for Russia, forcing Ukraine to exploit itself.
The congestion at Ukraine’s ports has left huge swaths of the world empty of grain, most notably fertilizer, sunflower oil and a host of other exports, which will bring in a lot of money. necessary for the Ukrainian economy.
Despite the grain deal reached in Istanbul, no ships have yet set sail. It’s a sign of a deep lack of trust in Russia’s intentions, especially after the missile attack on the port of Odesa with the ink on the deal not yet dry.
Today Putin promised more big guns.
The long-introduced Zirkon hypersonic missile will be delivered to the Russian armed forces in the coming months.
The Admiral Gorshkov frigate that tested the missile will be the first recipient. According to Putin, the Zirkon missile system will be “unmatched in the world”.
The crowds along the Palace Embankment may not be particularly aware of that, but they love the parade and hovering in the air.
“Did you hear people cheering when Putin showed up?” said Janna, who doesn’t like everything British. “I hope you’ve heard of it, didn’t expect you to have such a skill.”
“I believe you have pitted us against each other, two peoples brothers,” she said, pointing menacingly. “I hope you can understand what the Russian spirit is like when you are here.”
Natalia in a V-shirt, which is seen more often than ever, tells me she is sure to win. When I asked her what victory meant, she said “Victory over fascism, victory over Nazism, for peace!”.
“What does the word ‘Nazi’ mean to you?”, I asked.
“Those who only for their own country, and do not accept others”, was the answer.
That is a broad definition. No wonder it has captured the imaginations of so many people in Russia. It was a world removed from the concept of death camps and the horrific atrocities of Nazi Germany.
But not everyone is sure of their president.
“Segregation was fair to Hitler but there was no Nazism in Ukraine,” Mr. Oleg said.
“This war is Putin’s final attack on the world. The personal attack of a mad dictator against the whole world because the whole civilized world is now against the outrage that is taking place. this”.
A lone voice in today’s crowd. Perhaps the same, in present-day Russia.
But there may be many others like Oleg who don’t attend events like this but are deeply annoyed by the events of the past five months, their reservations overpowered by spiritual power. mighty patriot that Vladimir Putin has promoted very well.