The victory over the Nazi invaders is quite a landmark event, but each country celebrates it in its own way. For most countries, it is a day of remembrance to commemorate the victims of Nazi crimes and call for such a thing to be prevented in the future.

However, in Russia this holiday has a different meaning. For the Kremlin, May 9 is first and foremost an attempt to demonstrate its “greatness and uniqueness”. For the aggressor, this holiday now has a “sacred meaning”, because it is based on the idea of “invincibility of the Russian people”.

The whole world condemned the “monopolization” of the victory over Nazism, because Ukraine and other states have made no less contribution to its achievement. Instead, this does not prevent the Kremlin from turning a memorable date into a political show every year.

This year, the situation is special, as Russia has waged a full-scale war against Ukraine, and despite all the “never again” calls, it is now behaving like an invading state. It should be noted that similar tendencies have not escaped the temporarily occupied peninsula, whose fake “powers” has picked up the general mood of the Kremlin.

We wrote on the “hot tracks” of the “Victory Day” events in the occupied regions of Ukraine, and the experts of the Association of Reintegration of Crimea separately and systematically investigated how exactly the occupiers “selebrated” on May 9.

Since the beginning of the large-scale aggression against Ukraine, Russian propagandists have announced plans to end the so-called “special operation” by May 9. Despite the numerous losses and demoralization of Russian troops in the Kremlin, this idea has not been abandoned. According to Ukrainian intelligence, the occupiers constantly carried out active propaganda work among the personnel, the essence of which was to spread the idea of “victory by May 9” [1].

This is further proof that this day is a defining date for the Kremlin, and they compare Ukraine to Nazi Germany. It is not clear just how such a comparison can be made, when Russia invaded the territory of an independent, sovereign state.

However, for Kremlin propagandists, this probably does not matter, as for the Russians in front of TV screens. It should be noted that Crimean collaborators have always tried to please their curators. They completely copied the Kremlin’s narratives and retransmitted them on the temporarily occupied peninsula. In particular, in 2017, all central streets in Simferopol were closed, and “St. George’s ribbons” were distributed to Crimean residents. Even prams have been converted into missiles and tanks.

At the same time, on May 9, numerous searches of Crimean Tatar activists took place. Several people were arrested in the so-called “Crimean case”. Thus, the Crimean collaborators tried to show that they would not tolerate any alternative opinions on the peninsula.

This year, Putin planned a “double victory parade”, meaning he wanted to achieve a “victory in Ukraine” by May 9 and “celebrate” it. This was very much expected by the Crimean collaborators, but with the numerous defeats of the Russian army in Ukraine, this idea receded into the background [3]. In such circumstances, Putin had to present the capture of the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions as a “victory”, but this failed [4].

In the absence of at least some achievements, the Crimean collaborators decided to hold the usual parade of the “Immortal Regiment”, which has become traditional for Russia [5]. To do this, Aksonov even “abolished coronavirus restrictions and allowed mass events”. That is, in order to show loyalty to the Kremlin, Crimean collaborators are willing to risk the lives of citizens.

This year, against the background of the war with Ukraine, Crimean collaborators approached the celebration of May 9 in a special way. In fact, the whole celebration turned into a glorification of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Collaborators organized the so-called “Immortal Regiment” march, the participants of which carried not only portraits of veterans, but also numerous posters with the slogan “Victory is always behind us” and the world-famous Z-symbols.

Moreover, according to open sources, the “celebration” on the occupied peninsula cost the “budget” more than four million rubles. With this money, through their own companies, collaborators “purchased” all the symbols and services for the organization of “holiday concerts” [7]. In addition to propaganda, on May 9, the occupiers launched a missile strike from the “Onyx” and “Bastion” complexes in the Odesa Region from the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea. As a result of these shellings, infrastructure facilities in the region were damaged [8]. Probably this is a kind of criminal “holiday salute”, which, according to the occupiers, should show the power of the Russian army.

And again we witnessed the theater of the absurd. Along with the fact that the occupiers used crazy funds to organize festive events, they organized a “fundraiser” on May 9 in support of the Russian military. Collaborators held a campaign “Red Carnation”, the essence of which is as follows: the Crimean residents were offered to buy a badge with the image of this flower, and funds from the sale of these products went to help the military aggressor.

Photo exhibitions “NATO – Chronicle of Cruelty” were held throughout the occupied peninsula. And on May 9, the Russian invaders held a run with the absurdist title “For peace without Nazism”. The forced participants of these events were mainly Crimean youth – “pupils and students”, bent for the mass, that was invaders-designed for all this insanity [9]. This proves once again that the Kremlin is really indifferent to the memory of the participants of the Second World War, and May 9 is only a tool of conveying its narratives to the population, including the occupied territories.

For example, in the Crimea, the Russian occupiers want to direct young people to the path of fake “devotion”, because they need the Crimean residents to voluntarily go to war against the mainland Ukrainians. They also want to establish the myth of “saving the peninsula from the Banderas”. In other occupied territories, Kherson, Melitopol, and Nova Kakhovka, the Kremlin also held these “carnivals”, but with the criminal aim of convincing the local population of the “need to join Russia”.

The thesis that it is important for Russia to impose its values exclusively is confirmed by the attitude towards the Crimean residents. Thus, on the peninsula on May 9, “there was a field kitchen, and people were treated to buckwheat porridge”. However, the disposable tableware ran out in half an hour and the porridge was distributed simply in the palm or in the leaves plucked from the nearest tree. Moreover, all those who wanted to taste the porridge in their hands were passed through a metal detector [11].

The aggressor has created a “parallel world” when there is money for security measures, but no disposable utensils. And this despite the fact that the “preparation and rehearsal of the parade” in the occupied Crimea began in late April. Young persons who were forced to take part in festive events were “exempted from classes” for numerous “rehearsals” [12].

In a way, the Crimean invaders’ punitive forces were preparing for May 9, intensifying “filtering measures” against men who were forcibly transferred from the Kherson Region. The aim was, in particular, the maximum replenishment of the Russian army, which since the beginning of the war has suffered significant losses in Ukraine [13]. Moreover, Crimean collaborators tried so hard to please the Kremlin in propaganda of the war with Ukraine that they even forgot to congratulate the last living participant of the Yalta Conference, 96-year-old Halyna Romanko, who lives in Saki, on Victory Day.

No representative of the self-proclaimed “government” came to congratulate the veteran, who was a medic during World War II and has received many awards [14]. But for the aggressor, people are not the main thing, because it is important to keep the slogans with which the Kremlin manipulates citizens. That is, there is no question of any respect, because in Russia itself, many veterans live just below the poverty line. They are used as a kind of “brand” that justifies all war crimes of the Kremlin’s political regime.

For example, in some Crimean kindergartens this year “conversations with veterans” were organized on the topic of “achievements of the Soviet people”. All this took place against the background of Soviet symbols and masquerades with the disguise of children in the uniform of soldiers of the USSR army, with the mass involvement of pseudo-veterans [15]. Also, the whole absurdity of the celebrations organized by the Crimean collaborators in Simferopol, which they abandoned, is very vividly reflected in the holes in the sidewalk, which were covered with boards during the “holiday”.

Of particular note is the fact that Crimean collaborators proposed to hold a so-called “parade of prisoners” in Simferopol in late April, which caused numerous outrages among Ukrainian officials. In fact, Crimean collaborators wanted to copy the criminal experience of 2014, when such an event took place in occupied Donetsk. However, the occupiers abandoned this idea, but probably not because such parades of prisoners are a war crime, but because of fears of sympathy of the local population for the prisoners, especially – “public incidents”.

At the same time, on the instructions of the same Kremlin curators, the self-proclaimed “authorities” of Crimea sent their propagandists to the “newly occupied” territories to imitate “universal happiness”. The main task was to create the appearance that in the south of Ukraine’s mainland they were allegedly “very much waiting for the arrival of the Russian army” [18].

In particular, the Crimean “masses” became the basis of the “Immortal Regiment” march in Melitopol. For this event, Crimean residents have been imported by bus since May 8. It should be noted that the basis of the festive events in Melitopol were representatives of the Crimean collaborators, who came as “guests” [19]. Probably in this way the Crimean collaborators shared their own experience of betrayal, which they have gained over the past eight years.

The Kremlin did not entrust this role to the new Melitopol collaborators, as it is important not to “fail the show”. In order to “popularize” the experience of Crimea in holding mass events, some Russian tour operators have even offered a separate tour for “Victory Day” to Sevastopol, with “participation in the parade” [20]. In other words, imagine the level of cynicism when some businessmen try to make money on historical memory, as if it is not about the pain and suffering of an entire generation, but about a carnival in Rio de Janeiro. That is why it is a day of remembrance and reconciliation for the whole world, not a way to hold a sabbath on the bones.

It is noteworthy that the self-proclaimed “chairman” of the Crimea, Mr. Aksyonov, before May 9 began to actively condemn Ukraine for wanting to cancel forever the celebration of Victory Day [21]. Even so, the occupiers are trying to find an excuse to increase the level of hatred by spreading a similar delusion among the propagandists, which is immediately picked up by Crimean collaborators [22]. In fact, the Ukrainian parliament approved the statement, but it has nothing to do with the abolition of Victory Day, and only points to the inadmissibility of Russia’s claim of victory over Nazism.

That is, it is a desire to preserve the historical memory of the events of World War II, and the role of the Ukrainian people in this victory. In turn, the Kremlin is using this holiday to show the whole world the slogan “We can repeat”. It is obvious that after the assassination attempt on the Crimea, Russia did everything possible to ensure that the fundamental idea of “invincibility”, which is the basis of its national policy, was spread to the occupied peninsula. This is strange enough for ordinary states: to assert themselves in the civilized world through intimidation and threats, but not for Russia.

Nevertheless, pro-Ukrainian sentiment has continued to grow in the occupied Crimea since the beginning of the large-scale aggression, as ordinary Crimeans condemn Russian war crimes in Ukraine. The occupiers are intensifying repressions in response to such sentiments of the Crimean residents. In particular, the regime measures have been intensified, which are now jointly provided by “Crimean” punitive forces and Cossacks brought from the Rostov region. The occupiers are especially annoyed that Crimean activists have already started speaking Ukrainian in public. That is why the search for such activists has become a “crucial task” for the “security forces” of the occupied peninsula. Fearing this, the occupiers significantly strengthened the security of military facilities and equipment in the Crimea before May 9 [24].

In the conditions of war, the intensification of pro-Ukrainian sentiments is a key threat for Crimean collaborators, as they are very afraid of the deoccupation of the peninsula. That is why the parade of “victory” continues on May 9, after any occasion, which, except for propaganda for the Crimean youth, does not bring anything constructive.

World War II went down in history as a great tragedy for all mankind. The deaths of tens of millions of people on both sides of the confrontation, the broken fortunes of prisoners and maimed by concentration camps – this is the result of the bloody war that modern Russia is trying to make the foundation of its statehood.

For some reason, the Kremlin leadership believes that it is possible to build a developed country based solely on the already purely historic victory in the war, which was won by the USSR together with other countries. Russia’s political leadership is now using May 9 to justify its war crimes around the world.

They have imposed a similar policy on the occupied Crimea, whose self-proclaimed “government” has been pretending for eight years in a row that May 9 is a “single holiday on a planetary scale”.

However, behind this date, Russia wants to hide the occupation of the peninsula itself, which was simply turned into a military base for aggression against Ukraine, and the Crimean residents – a suitable “mobilization resource”. It will probably take years after the deoccupation of Crimea to change the Kremlin’s image of an “exceptional nation”, whose mission is to “save the world from the Nazis”, which today is all the peoples of the planet Earth, except the “real Russians”.

Sources:

1. https://news.liga.net/ua/politics/news/propagandisty-kremlya-ubejdayut-okkupantov-v-neobhodimosti-zakonchit-voynu-k-9-maya-genshtab

2. https://www.radiosvoboda.org/a/28476892.html

3. https://www.youtube.com/

4. https://ru.krymr.com/a/voyna-ukraina-rossiya-9-maya-putin-parad-mobilizaciya-anneksiya-pobeda/31838803.html

5. https://www.vesti.ru/

6. https://crimea.suspilne.media/ua/news/3911

7. https://ua.krymr.com/a/krym-9-travnia-den-peremohy-finansuvannia-biudzhet/31843151.html

8. https://chas.news/news/obstril-odeschini-9-travnya-rosiyani-vipustili-raketi-z-okupovanogo-krimu

9. https://qirim.news/novosti-uk/okupanty-v-krymu-vykorystovuyut-sakralnu-data-9-travnya-dlya-propagandy-vijny-lyudej-doluchayut-do-zboru-koshtiv/

10. https://portal.lviv.ua/news/2022/05/09/paradu-nema-zate-ye-karnaval-yak-okupanty-svyatkuyut-9-travnya-v-ukrayins-kykh-mistakh

11. https://www.istpravda.com.ua/short/2021/05/10/159451/

12. https://www.facebook.com/

13. https://tvoemisto.tv/news/gotuyutsya_do_9_travnya_na_okupovanyh_terytoriyah_okupanty_masovo_vykradayut_cholovikiv_pryzovnogo_viku_131485.html

14. https://ukraine.segodnya.ua/ukraine/v-krymu-ne-pozdravili-s-9-maya-poslednyuyu-zhivuyu-uchastnicu-yaltinskoy-konferencii-1620143.html

15. https://apostrophe.ua/news/society/accidents/2018-05-08/v-seti-pokazali-kak-detey-v-kryimu-ekspluatiruyut-pered-9-maya-opublikovanyi-foto/129483

16. https://enovosty.com/news_society/full/1005-9-maya-v-okkupirovannom-krymu-k-dnyu-pobedy-dyry-na-trotuare-prikryli-doskami-foto

17. https://www.gazeta.ru/

18. https://www.radiosvoboda.org/a/novyny-pryazovya-9-travnya-rosiya-okupatsiya-putin/31841501.html

19. https://ru.krymr.com/amp/rossiya-ukraina-voyna-9-maya-mariupol-melitopol-okkupirovanniye-territorii/31842503.html

20. https://www.crimea-tourcenter.com/

21. https://sev.tv

22. https://armyinform.com.ua/2022/04/22/okupanty-vygadaly-fejk-pro-skasuvannya-9-travnya-v-ukrayini-shhob-pidnyaty-gradus-nenavysti-do-ukrayincziv/
23. https://novynarnia.com/2022/05/03/zamist-skasuvannya-9-travnya/
24. https://zmina.info/news/kreml-zbyrayetsya-posylyuvaty-represiyi-v-tymchasovo-okupovanomu-krymu-u-vidpovid-na-proukrayinski-nastroyi-zmi/