Vladimir Putin is “mirroring” the fascism of Nazi Germany, Ben Wallace will say on Monday – as the Russian president a massive military parade to hold his war effort.
In a major speech, the Defense Secretary will condemn Putin of “hijacking history” and insulting the memory of the fallen Soviet forces in the annual Victory Day parade that marks the defeat of Adolf Hitler’s army.
“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,” Mr Wallace will say.
Speaking at the National Army Museum, the Defense Secretary will also accuse senior officers in the army of such incompetence they should be court-martialled.
“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 proud forebears’ history of defending against a ruthless invasion; of repelling fascism; of sacrificing themselves for a higher purpose,” Mr Wallace will say.
He will also add that the response to the military failures on the ground in Ukraine has been a “disgraceful display of self-preservation, doubling-down on failure, anger, dishonesty and scapegoating”.
Mr Wallace will add: “All professional soldiers should be appalled at the behavior of the Russian army.
“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-martialled.”
The speech will be given as Moscow throws a lavish military parade in a show of strength against Ukraine and Nato, including a display of Putin’s so-called “doomsday” jet.
The aircraft is designed to protect the Russian president and allow him to rule from the skies in the event of a nuclear attack. It is also capable of issuing its own nuclear strike order.