Putin 'Mirroring Fascism' of Nazis in Ukraine Invasion —U.K.

British Defense Minister Ben Wallace is set to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin for "mirroring fascism" on the day Moscow holds a huge military parade in its annual celebration of "Victory Day," which commemorates the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

Russian officials have consistently said that one of the main aims of the current war in Ukraine, which has been raging since February 24, is to "free Russians in Ukraine from Nazism." However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish, and many of his family members were killed in the Holocaust by Nazis.

"Through their invasion of Ukraine, Putin, his inner circle and generals are now mirroring the fascism and tyranny of 70 years ago, repeating the errors of last century's totalitarian regimes," Wallace will say on Monday, in a speech at the National Army Museum, in Chelsea, London.

The upmarket area where he'll be speaking is close to the luxury homes of several Russian oligarchs.

Putin in the office
Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in Moscow's Kremlin on May 5, 2022. British Defense Minister Ben Wallace is set to criticize Putin for “mirroring fascism” on the day Moscow holds a huge military parade in its annual celebration of “Victory Day." Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP/Getty

In Moscow, Putin will lead Victory Day celebrations on Monday. Thousands of military units and personnel will parade the capital's streets to celebrate the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 by the Soviet Union, falling one day after Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) is celebrated in Western Europe. The Soviet Union suffered the highest losses of any country in the Second World War, with as many as 27 million being killed.

There have been reports that Putin will use the national celebration on Monday to claim some form of victory in Ukraine, and some suggest the president could formally declare war against Russia's neighbor—though the Kremlin has denied that. So far, Putin has called the invasion "a special military operation."

Wallace will encourage international allies to criticize Russia for Monday's parade.

"Let's call out the absurdity of Russian generals—resplendent in their manicured parade uniforms and weighed down by their many medals—for being utterly complicit in Putin's hijacking of their forebears' proud history of defending against a ruthless invasion; of repelling fascism; of sacrificing themselves for a higher purpose," he will say in his Monday address.

Moscow's response to its military failures in Ukraine has been a "disgraceful display of self-preservation, doubling-down on failure, anger, dishonesty and scapegoating," Wallace will add.

He will also say that all professional soldiers should be "appalled" at the Russian army's behavior.

"Not only are they engaged in an illegal invasion and war crimes, but their top brass have failed their own rank and file to the extent they should be court-martialed," Wallace is due to say.

"Not only are they engaged in an illegal invasion and war crimes, but their top brass have failed their own rank and file to the extent they should be court-martialed."

In its latest update on the war on Monday, the British Ministry of Defence said that during the war, Russia has revealed shortcomings in its ability to conduct precision attacks on Ukrainian targets.

"At the onset of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia publicly promoted its ability to conduct surgical strikes and limit collateral damage. It stated that Ukrainian cities would therefore be safe from bombardment," it said.

"However, as the conflict continues beyond Russian pre-war expectations, Russia's stockpile of precision-guided munitions has likely been heavily depleted."

This has forced the use of readily-available aging munitions that are "less reliable, less accurate and more easily intercepted," it said, adding that Russia will struggle to supply itself with modern precision weapons to replace the ones it's already used.

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine has revealed shortcomings in its ability to conduct precision strikes at scale. Russia has subjected Ukraine's towns and cities to intense and indiscriminate bombardments with little or no regard for civilian casualties," the update added.

Newsweek has contacted the Kremlin for comment.