Russia on May 4 dismissed speculation that it plans to formally declare war on Ukraine on May 9.
Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin would declare war on May 9 was “nonsense.”
In Russia, May 9 commemorates the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945.
Russia has so far referred to its invasion as a “special military operation.”
Ukrainian and Western officials have speculated that Putin could use the Victory Day Parade to announce an escalation of military action in its invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian politician Alyona Shkrum told the BBC that they were expecting “quite tough times” in Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, Odesa, and Mariupol, on May 9.
“[Putin] takes some kind of Victory Day and he turns it into a big fight right now against Nazis, which is obviously Russian propaganda and completely ridiculous,” Shkrum said.
United Kingdom Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told LBC Radio in an interview last week that the annual parade might be used to assemble more troops and renew military efforts in its offensive against Ukraine.
“I would not be surprised, and I don’t have any information about this, that he is probably going to declare on this May Day that ‘we are now at war with the world’s Nazis and we need to mass mobilize the Russian people,'” Wallace said.
United States State Department Spokesperson Ned Price discussed the speculation at a press briefing on May 2.
“I suppose I would add that that would be a great irony if Moscow used the occasion of Victory Day to declare war,” Price said.
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