May 9 will be in Russia celebrated “Victory Day” – the triumph over Nazi Germany in 1945. This year wants the Kremlin tyrant Vladimir Putin (69) but above all to celebrate his victory over Ukraine, which he defamed by calling it “Nazis”.
︎ Problem: The big Russian offensive in Ukraine is faltering, everything is going according to plan. This week, even Putin’s friend and Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko (67) had to find out.
Russian Il-80 military transport aircraft, also known as the “doomsday aircraft”, and MiG-29 fighter jets fly during a rehearsal for a flyover as part of the military parade annual “Victory Day” in MoscowPhoto: NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP
All the more important for the Kremlin tyrant to hold the annual mega military parade in a particularly ostentatious way. A show of force is required. And that may be why Putin thundered his “doomsday jet” over Moscow for parade rehearsals. True to style with two MiG-29 fighter jets alongside it.
Putin’s ‘doomsday jet’ on May 7 over Moscow, in proper style with two MiG-29 fighter jets alongside itPhoto: EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/REUTERS
The doomsday plane in case of nuclear war
Both the United States and Russia have aircraft that serve as a mobile command center for heads of state in the event of a doomsday scenario of nuclear war.
For this case, the Kremlin dictator has an Ilyushin Il-80 aircraft with the call sign “Eimak” (Mongolian for “family, clan”) and the NATO name “Maxdome”.
► Only four of these aircraft were produced, all delivered to the 8th Special Aircraft Division at Chkalovsky Air Base near Moscow. This is a modified Ilyushin Il-86.
Not much is known about the equipment of Putin’s mobile command center, also known as the “Flying Kremlin” – it is considered a state secret.
What you know: The Il-80 has no external windows (except those in the cockpit) to protect it from a nuclear explosion and a nuclear electromagnetic pulse. Only the upper deck forward door on the left and the rear door on the right remain of the standard Il-86 design.
► The “hump” at the front of the aircraft hides the antennas of the aircraft, while on the front left side of the aircraft is the connector for in-flight refueling.
There is also a panel covering the aft cockpit windows. This could potentially help block electromagnetic or radio frequency pulses. Unlike the standard Il-86 aircraft, the Il-80 has two power generators mounted inside the engine nacelles.
More recently, the doomsday jet flew over the 2010 military parade. This means that the renewed use of the plane in this year’s parade is a clear demonstration of Kremlin power, which aims to say: if nuclear war begins , Putin can simply fly away.
The Il-80 flying over the 2010 military paradePhoto: Leonid Faerberg (transport-photo.com)/GNU Free Documentation License, version 1.2/Wikipedia
Red Square Victory Day Parade
Even if the march of 11,000 soldiers on Red Square accompanied by 131 military equipment according to the Ministry of Defense on May 9 will be a great spectacle, the Ukrainian conflict has revealed the weaknesses of the Russian armed forces.
And: Russia is isolated in the world. Less than two decades ago, US President George W. Bush (75) attended May 9 celebrations in Moscow with Putin. No Western heads of state have been invited this year, the Kremlin said.
Russian MiG-29SMT fighter jets fly in a “Z” formation during rehearsals for the military parade in Moscow. The “Z” became a symbol of support for Russian troops during the warPhoto: MAXIM SHEMETOV/REUTERS
Russian Su-25 planes spray the colors of the Russian flag during a rehearsal flight for the May 9 paradePhoto: YURI KADOBNOV/AFP
As May 9 approaches, there is speculation that Putin is preparing a special announcement regarding Ukraine. He could officially declare war on the neighboring country or call for a national mobilization.Moscow has so far denied that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov (54) spoke of “nonsense”.
One thing is clear: Putin will deliver a speech in Red Square. Last year, the Kremlin dictator denounced the rise of neo-Nazism and hatred of Russia – topics that also feature repeatedly in Putin’s justification for invading Ukraine.
A Russian ‘Yars’ ICBM rolls through Red Square during the dress rehearsal for the military parade in central MoscowPhoto: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP
This is why Russia does not celebrate Victory Day until May 9
Russia celebrates “Victory Day” on May 9, even though the German Wehrmacht had previously declared its unconditional surrender. The first document was signed on May 7, 1945 at the Allied Forces Headquarters in Reims.
► The capitulation and therefore the end of hostilities should come into force on May 8 at 23:01 Central European Time. In Moscow, further east, May 9 had already begun due to the time difference.
And: Stalin insisted on the ratification of the document at the headquarters of the Red Army in Berlin Karlshorst. It was signed by Wehrmacht Commander-in-Chief Wilhelm Keitel shortly after midnight on May 9.
In Moscow, this date is therefore celebrated as “Victory Day”, unlike in the West, where May 8 is considered the end of the war.
Russians usually do not mark the end of the Second World War, but the end of the “Great Patriotic War”. In Moscow, this refers to the phase of the war after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.
Military parades in Red Square have a long tradition. However, in Soviet times, they were mainly held on May 1 (until 1968) and November 7, the day of the October Revolution.
It was only on the major anniversaries of the end of the World War, in 1965, 1985 and 1990, that there were also parades on May 9. Annual military parades on this date have only existed since 1995.
MSTA-S self-propelled howitzers roll through Moscow’s Red Square during a rehearsal for the parade marking the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War IIPhoto: MAXIM SHEMETOV/REUTERS
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