Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday there was no chance of Russian President Vladimir Putin declaring war on Ukraine on May 9, Russia’s Victory Day, dismissing those reports as “nonsense.”
When asked by CNN on a regular conference call what the chances were of Putin declaring war on Victory Day, Peskov said “none,” adding: “No, this is nonsense.”
Peskov also rejected reports that Putin may use Victory Day to announce mobilization in the country, which would allow the government not just to assemble troops but also to put the economy on a war footing.
Analysts and Western officials previously said they believe that on May 9, after over two months of calling the Ukraine invasion a “special military operation,” Putin could formally declare war.
Some background: May 9, known as "Victory Day" inside Russia, commemorates the country's defeat of the Nazis in 1945.
It is marked by a military parade in Moscow, and Russian leaders traditionally stand on the tomb of Vladimir Lenin in Red Square to observe it.
Putin has a keen eye for symbolism, having launched the invasion of Ukraine the day after Defender of the Fatherland Day, another crucial military day in Russia, leading Western officials to believe he would use May 9 to either announce a military achievement in Ukraine, a major escalation of hostilities -- or both.