As thousands of Russian troops march alongside tanks and other military hardware in Russia’s Victory Day parade rehearsals, it is Putin’s massive intercontinental missile that will take centre stage next month, by which time Moscow hopes to win the war against Ukraine. This comes as Ukrainian officials confirm Putin’s troops have launched a massive onslaught in the “battle for the Donbas”.
President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed: “We can now confirm that Russian troops have begun the battle for the Donbas, which they have been preparing for a long time.
“A large part of the Russian army is now dedicated to this offensive.”
While a large number of troops are attacking Ukraine from the East, thousands of Russian soldiers in Moscow are taking part in rehearsals for the Victory Day ceremony, to be held on May 9.
According to the Mirror, Putin wants to deal a decisive blow to Ukraine by this day, to mark the parade.
As well as the soldiers, tanks and other military hardware, it was the intercontinental ballistic missile that stood out at the rehearsals.
For the West, the missile will be a show of force and a stark reminder of what Putin could unleash in Europe if tensions reach boiling point between Russia and NATO.
Russia will showcase the RD-24 missile launcher, which is able to send up to ten nuclear warheads to targets in Europe or the United States simultaneously.
The launcher comes with the RD 24 Yars missile, which is said to have a range of over 10,000 kilometres.
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Each year, the Victory Day event is held in Russia to mark the defeat of Germany at the end of the Second World War, during which Joseph Stalin’s forces fought out a long and arduous battle against the Nazis.
Putin is reportedly growing frustrated with the progress of the war in Ukraine, having taking far more casualties than originally expected, with Ukrainian forces even forcing a retreat of Russian troops.
As the war drags on, fears are growing that Russia may step up its missile strikes on Ukraine.
Earlier this month, at least 50 people in eastern Ukraine were killed and dozens injured after a missile strike on a crowded railway station as they tried to flee the region.
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It is thought Russian troops fired deadly rockets containing cluster munitions on the site in Kramatorsk as thousands gathered at the station to flee the conflict.
Mr Zelensky branded the massacre of civilians, many of them women and children, as “an evil without limits”.
He warned Putin must be punished otherwise “it will never stop”.
Local officials confirmed that 38 people had died at the station while a further 12 succumbed to their injuries in hospital.