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Analysis: Putin has put himself at the center of Russia’s Victory Day. But he has little to celebrate

President Vladimir Putin takes Russian anniversaries seriously. It was no coincidence that his invasion of Ukraine came a day after Defender of the Fatherland Day, a celebration of Russia’s military achievements. It was on that same occasion in 2014 that Putin took the first step in annexing Crimea from Ukraine, through orchestrated pro-Russian protests on the peninsula.

President Vladimir Putin takes Russian anniversaries seriously. It was no coincidence that his invasion of Ukraine came a day after Defender of the Fatherland Day, a celebration of Russia’s military achievements. It was on that same occasion in 2014 that Putin took the first step in annexing Crimea from Ukraine, through orchestrated pro-Russian protests on the peninsula.

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