Putin celebrates Crimea as war against Ukraine escalates

irobiko chimezie

Russia’s President Putin held a political rally in the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on Friday, but there’s no election on the horizon. 

Instead, Russia’s leader was leading celebrations to mark the anniversary of Crimea voting to join the Russian Federation. Although the annexation of the region from Ukraine was criticized in 2014, and the result of the referendum on March 18 2014 has been contested internationally, Russia is firm on the matter. 

But the timing of the rally, attended by thousands, cannot be seen as a coincidence. 

It took place exactly four weeks after Putin’s “Special Military Operation” began in Ukraine. 

Although the conflict in Ukraine was not mentioned outright by Putin, the slogans adorning the stage he appeared on were clearly linked to the ongoing battles in Russia’s western neighbor. 

“For a world without Nazism,” was one such slogan. While it seems like something most people would agree with, so-called ‘de-Nazification’ is one of the main reasons given by Putin for the military incursion.