Feiringen av seieren over Nazi-Tyskland vil få en ny betydning når Putins Russland markerer 70-årsdagen 9. mai. Det nye Russland hevder at en ny fascisme truer. Når man minnes den gamle er det for å advare mot den nye.

Russian officials have reiterated their scorn for anything — or anyone — they associate with «fascism.» The country bases much of its present-day identity on the Allied forces’ defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. Preparations are already under way for a lavish, large-scale nationwide celebration of the 70th anniversary of Victory Day on May 9.

Putin justified Russia’s annexation of Crimea last year in part on the notion that authorities in Kiev were «nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites,» and that the Russian inhabitants of the peninsula were not safe in a country run by such unsavory characters. In the immediate aftermath of the ouster of then-Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych last February, Russian state media referred to the new authorities in Kiev as a fascist «junta.»