Russian President Vladimir Putin made no major announcements during his Victory Day speech on Monday morning. Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra called the speech mostly “gossip”. President Charles Michel of the Council of European Heads of Government had to take refuge in Ukraine during a Russian missile attack.
Victory Day is the day when Russia annually celebrates its victory over the Nazis in World War II.
Experts expected, among other things, that Putin would claim victory in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol or declare war on Ukraine. Russia has yet to officially do the latter.
Putin repeats his arguments for the invasion
There were no such statements. Putin repeated some of his baseless arguments to justify the invasion of Ukraine.
According to the Russian leader, the West is preparing an invasion of Russia, including an invasion of the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. Putin also said that NATO is a threat to the borders of Russia.
Russian TV providers’ digital TV guides were hacked on Monday morning. This happened before Russian President Putin gave his speech. Vendor customers share photos showing how TV guides display anti-war messages instead of programming.
Hoekstra: Putin fools Russians with gossip
Russian President Vladimir Putin sends his people into the forest with fables, Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra has said. Putin’s blaming the West for Russia’s war on Ukraine, as he pointed out in his speech to Russia’s most important golden age on Monday, “is of course the biggest possible nonsense”.
In Putin’s speech, Hoekstra saw “not a single” starting point for new peace talks. “All diplomatic channels are still open,” but diplomatic efforts are now focused on other countries to further isolate Russia.
Pro-Russian parade in Mariupol
Pro-Russian separatists march in Mariupol to commemorate the Soviet Union’s victory over the Nazis in 1945.
They carried a three hundred meter long black-orange ribbon of Saint George through the Ukrainian port city occupied by Russian troops. It is a military symbol of victory in World War II.
In Moscow, hundreds of thousands marched in the annual memorial march with photos of loved ones who died in World War II. Putin walked with a photo of his grandfather.
EU president had to take cover during rocket attack
President Charles Michel of the Council of European Heads of Government had to go into hiding Monday during a Russian missile attack during an unannounced visit to the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. His spokesperson confirmed this.
According to an EU official, Michel was meeting Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmihal at the time of the attack. “During the meeting with the Prime Minister, the participants had to interrupt the meeting to hide when rockets hit the Odessa region again,” he said.
Michel posted a message on Twitter about the visit, but wrote nothing about the incident. He says, among other things, that he is in Odessa to celebrate Europe Day. It is the day when the European institutions celebrate the effective birth in 1950 of the European project.
The Belgian says in a statement to Ukrainians that he is convinced that the Kremlin will not succeed in smashing their sense of freedom and democracy. “I came to Odessa on Europe Day with one simple message: you are not alone. We are behind you. We will not let you down. will have to.” Michel also offers Ukraine to help build a modern and democratic country.
The Ukrainian military reported earlier Monday that four Russian precision missiles hit Odessa. They would have been taken from the Crimean peninsula, annexed by the Russians. The army gave no further details.
Unconfirmed reports of a deceased Dutch mercenary
55-year-old mercenary would be the first Dutch war volunteer killed in Ukraine, reports The Telegraph† The Foreign Office cannot confirm the report.
The man was reportedly hit by artillery fire near Kharkiv on May 4. He had joined the Ukrainian Foreign Legion, according to the newspaper.