Vladimir Putin is somewhat controversial due to his policies and his at-times odd behavior. This is partly why some are uneasy over his decision to attend the upcoming commemoration ceremonies as Normandy approaches the seventieth anniversary of D-Day. With several other world leaders attending the ceremony, many are curious as to how his presence will be received. The decision of Vladimir Putin to attend is made controversial mostly due to Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine.
History is, to no small extent, very present in this decision. Regardless of the Ukraine occupation, Soviet Russia was a great aid to the Allied forces during the Second World War. They helped in several key battles, and they lost several men. France wants Vladimir Putin to attend so as to pay tribute to the sacrifice that Russia made, which is in line with the sacrifice made by all Allies during the war; the choice has nothing to do with Russia’s current political decisions, nor does it in any way represent France’s support of such actions.
This news comes in spite of Russia’s omission from the G8. Leaders from many of the current G7 nations such as France, Germany, and the United States will also be in attendance at the anniversary ceremonies, and may or may not seek to make some sort of amends with Vladimir Putin during the ceremonies. This is just a supposition by many, but it may become increasingly likely in light of Russia’s decision to pull troops out of Crimea. This action may save face for the nation as Russia seeks to maintain peace with its allies.
It has not been long since Russia passed into law a bill which would punish Holocaust deniers, or even those who simply belittled the horrors caused by fascist regimes during the Second World War. It seems clear that Vladimir Putin is doing everything in his power to show sympathy for other nations. Whether this is genuine or an attempt to preserve reputation has been called into question by some citizens. Some say that it is simply a ploy to take control over free public speech, the EurActive reports.
Vladimir Putin has accrued a great deal of negative press as of late, so just about any move he makes has been met with incredulity. It seems that there is little to say in the way of negativity when it comes to his attendance of the June 6th ceremonies, but his communications with other world leaders on the day will likely be monitored by the public with a keen eye. If Vladimir Putin is to make peace with the G7, the anniversary commemorations will likely be his biggest chance to do so, although he will be one day too late to make his peace before the next G7 summit on June 5th.