Russia dismisses speculation it will formally declare war on Ukraine by May 9

Anna Shevchenko, 35, reacts next to her home in Irpin, near Kyiv, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. The house, built by Shevchenko’s grandparents, was nearly completely destroyed by bombing in late March during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In her beloved flowerbed, some roses, lilies, peonies and daffodils survived. “It is new life. So I tried to save my flowers,” she said. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A Russian presidential spokesperson on Wednesday called reports that Moscow would formally declare war with Ukraine on May 9 “nonsense” as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to insist that the invasion of Ukraine is a “special military operation.”

Speculation has swirled about Russia officially declaring war on May 9, which is known as Victory Day in Russia in honor of the defeat of the Nazis in 1945.

When asked about the possibility of Moscow soon designating the invasion as a war, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov issued a categorical denial, according to The Washington Post.

“No. We have already answered this question. No, this is nonsense,” he said to reporters. 

“They change their position every day,” Peskov added of the Ukrainians. “This does not inspire confidence that this negotiation process can somehow end successfully.”

Peskov also said that there was “no chance” of a declaration of war on May 9, Reuters noted.

Meanwhile, State Department spokesman Ned Price discussed the speculation at a press briefing on Monday.

“I’ve seen the speculation that Russia may formally declare war. I suppose I would add that that would be a great irony if Moscow used the occasion of Victory Day to declare war,” Price said. 

Some have highlighted that Putin has a tendency to invoke symbolism, including launching the invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, which is the day after the Defender of the Fatherland Day, CNN noted.

In Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has imposed martial law in his country, though he has not formally declared war on Russia.

Tags Dmitry Peskov Ned Price russia ukraine Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky

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