Kremlin denies plans to formally declare war on Ukraine
Posted On May 4, 2022
Up until now, the Kremlin has only described Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation”.
The Kremlin’s Dmitry Peskov poured cold water on those reports overnight.
“There is no chance of that. It’s nonsense,” he said.
Victory Day is celebrated in Russia as the anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War, known in the West as World War II.
British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told LBC Radio last week that Mr Putin would likely look for a way to escalate the war.
“I think he will try to move from his ‘special operation’,” Mr Wallace said.
“He’s been rolling the pitch, laying the ground for being able to say ‘look, this is now a war against Nazis, and what I need is more people. I need more Russian cannon fodder.'”
Declaring war would allow Mr Putin to mobilise reserve forces and draft more conscripts.
A formal declaration of war would also potentially boost public support.
The Russian government and state-sponsored media have downplayed the enormity of the invasion since it began in February.
The Russian media is forbidden from referring to the invasion as a war, and most coverage has presented the military as merely supporting Ukrainian separatists against the Kyiv government.
“They get pretty hardcore propaganda which consists of ‘The Ukrainian leadership are a bunch of fascists’, or the Ukrainian people are under the control of the fascist leadership,” UNSW Honorary Associate Professor Stephen Fortescue told 9News last month.
“There tends to be a little bit of condescension against Ukrainians.”
Ukraine has claimed 23,200 Russian soldiers have been killed since the invasion began in late February.
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They have also claimed to have destroyed 190 Russian planes, 1000 tanks, eight naval vessels and almost 2500 armoured personnel carriers.
It is difficult to determine how accurate Ukrainian statistics are.
Russia has not released official statistics of their death toll since early March.