According to the British Ministry of Defense, the reality of war in Ukraine could present a significant challenge for Russian authorities as they prepare for the upcoming Victory Day parades next month. Victory Day commemorates the Soviet Union’s triumph over Nazi Germany in 1945.
“Leaders of several Russian regions bordering Ukraine, as well as occupied Crimea, have announced that their usually high-profile Victory Day military parades will be cancelled,” the ministry said in its daily intelligence update on Thursday.
However, Victory Day parades in cities further away from Ukraine are still set to go ahead.
“The different approaches highlight a sensitive communications challenge for the Kremlin,” the ministry said.
The ministry said Russia’s recent military shortcomings in Ukraine are at odds with the sentiment of Victory Day.
“Putin couches the ‘special military operation’ in the spirit of the Soviet experience in World War Two,” the intelligence update read.
“The message risks sitting increasingly uneasily with the many Russians who have immediate insights into the mismanaged and failing campaign in Ukraine.”
“Honoring the fallen of previous generations could easily blur into exposing the scope of the recent losses, which the Kremlin attempts to cover up.”
Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary of the United States, called upon the international community to continue supporting Ukraine in meeting its financial needs during Russia’s ongoing war.
She was speaking at a meeting with top representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to discuss assistance for Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who participated in the meeting via videolink, appealed for a concrete mechanism to be established to use Moscow’s frozen assets to compensate for the damage caused by Russia.
In March, the World Bank, along with the Ukrainian government and the European Commission, estimated that at least €411 billion ($451 billion) would be needed for Ukraine’s reconstruction and recovery over the next 10 years. Ukraine requires €14 billion for urgent reconstruction investments this year alone, with a financing gap of around €11 billion, according to the World Bank.
The institution also announced a plan to provide $200 million to help Ukraine repair its energy and heating infrastructure, while other partners will contribute an additional $300 million as the project expands.
The funds will be used for emergency repairs to Ukraine’s transition transformers, mobile heat boilers, and other critical equipment, said the statement released by the World Bank.
The country’s energy infrastructure has incurred $11 billion in damage over the past year, making it one of the most critical areas in need of urgent support, according to Anna Bjerde, Managing Director of Operations at the World Bank. Power outages resulting from the damage to the infrastructure have contributed to food, heating, and water shortages.