How Victory Day became central to Putin’s idea of Russian identity
In cities across Russia on Monday morning, tanks and missile trucks will growl their way along the main streets. Soldiers will march across central squares. Fighter jets will roar overhead.
Victory Day, when Russians celebrate the 1945 endpoint of what they still call the “great patriotic war”, has gradually become the centrepiece of Vladimir Putin’s concept of Russian identity over his two decades in charge.
This year, as the Russian army’s gruesome assault on Ukraine grinds on, the day has particular resonance, with some expecting a dramatic announcement from Putin, either declaring victory in...