MOSCOW, RUSSIA — In keeping with his promise to “de-Nazify” Ukraine, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin today turned his attentions a bit farther east.
In a speech to the Peoples Committee on Retiree Potency, Putin seemed to be eyeing an expansion of his “special military operation” by vowing to make a stand at the Russian city currently known as Volgograd, but known to history as Stalingrad. “We will stop the Nazis there, and make them pay in blood.” One of history’s bloodiest battles, of course, was fought in its confines, but no one has referred to the city by its old, Soviet name in decades.
Ignoring both logic and the fact that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a Jew, Putin has railed against supposed neo-Nazi elements in Ukraine’s government and military. Today’s speech seemed to go much deeper into these claims, to the point of confusing current battlefield events with those of the 1941-45 “Great Patriotic War” against the Germans.
Invading Russian troops have met a Ukrainian military response much more robust than they — or observers in the West — anticipated. But, other than a couple of mysterious missile strikes on Russian bases near the border, the war has not yet spilled over onto Russia soil.
In 1941, of course, the invading Germans made it all the way to the gates of Moscow before bad luck, stiffening Soviet resistance and the brutal Russian winter conspired to stop their advance. By 1942, Adolf Hitler was ready to try again at stabbing into the heart of the Soviet Union, and turned his attentions southward to the industrial city of Stalingrad.
In eighteen months of horrific fighting, the Soviet forces managed to hold, and then push back, the Germans. Although the city was utterly destroyed, this was the the turning of the tide for the war in the East, and the Germans never recovered.
Putin’s references, however, seemed to be giving the Ukrainian forces credit for much greater battlefield success than they’ve actually achieved. Reminded by Tass reporters that Volgograd is hundreds of miles east of Ukraine, Putin shot back by saying “their General Paulus is a degenerate criminal, and an enemy of Bolshevism,” apparently confusing the late Wehrmacht officer for a modern day opponent. “He’ll stop at nothing to cross the Volga in force!”
By way of explanation, Western analysts cited Kremlin insiders who indicated that Putin had been “appropriating the people’s vodka more than usual.” For his part, deceased Soviet premier V. I. Lenin, interviewed in his glass enclosure at the Kremlin, offered that “war is tiring. And The Ukraine is a hotbed of czarist scum. Allow little Vladdy his indiscretions.”
In battlefield developments, Ukrainian troops held their ground in most places, and body bag deliveries to Russia continued at a feverish pace. Shares of Stolichnaya Vodka & Kerosene Works, Ltd. tumbled following the reports.