Russia marks WWII victory shadowed by Ukraine

(Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 7:49 AM EDT
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ASSOCIATED PRESS (AP) -Impeccably straight columns of soldiers will march through Red Square on Monday as they do every year on Victory Day.

But this year’s observance of Russia’s most important patriotic holiday carries exceptional weight.

This year, as Russian troops fight grueling battles in Ukraine and unleash torrents of missiles and bombs, few Russians are likely to be dulled by the parade’s rituals. Instead, they will watch it for signs of what could come next in the conflict.

Some Russians fear President Vladimir Putin will use his speech at the parade to declare the ``special military operation’' in Ukraine as a full-fledged war.

That declaration would precede a broad mobilization of troops to bolster Russia’s forces.

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