For weeks, analysts in the U.S. and across Europe speculated and worried that the May 9th Victory Day parade in Red Square would be Vladimir Putin’s moment to announce a dramatic escalation in his war against Ukraine or issue dire new threats against NATO and the U.S. for arming Ukraine. It’s been the focal point of anxiety, perceived danger, the platform for the next big thing. And yet it all happened today and almost literally nothing happened. They had the parade with the big ICBMs. Putin gave a speech. It was defiant, repeated the basic message we’ve been hearing for months — Ukraine is Nazis, it’s a replay of World War II, Russia’s fate is at stake. But that was it. No announcement of mobilization, no dire nuclear threats.
Of course, thank God, more or less. That’s good news. And yet it’s another dog in this crisis that hasn’t barked. Something’s got to give — either fold or escalate — and yet nothing does.