As Ukraine war drags on, Russian lawmakers told to compare it to the bloody (but ultimately victorious) WWII Battle of Stalingrad

Captured German soldiers, make their way in the bitter cold through the ruins of Stalingrad, Russia, in 1943.
Captured German soldiers make their way in the bitter cold through the ruins of Stalingrad, Russia, in 1943.AP Photo/hpr, File
  • Russia's largest party told members to compare the Ukraine war with World War II's biggest battle.

  • Politicians were told to talk about the Battle of Stalingrad, which turned the tide against Nazi Germany.

  • Russia's war in Ukraine is dragging on and sees no end in sight, with casualties mounting.

Russian politicians have been told to compare the invasion of Ukraine with the Battle of Stalingrad, a bloody but ultimately decisive World War II victory that helped the Soviet Union turn the tide of the war against Germany.

Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that leaders of the United Russia party, the largest political party in Russia, told its members to publicly compare the current conflict with the famous battle, which marks its 80-year anniversary on February 2.

The party said in its recommendations to members that "like the Battle of Stalingrad 80 years ago, [the war in Ukraine] is the frontier we can't back down from," according to a translation by The Moscow Times.

The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the biggest battles in World War II, helping to stop Nazi forces from advancing into the Soviet Union.

Up to two million people died in and around Stalingrad, according to news agency AFP.

The request is likely an attempt to retain support for the war in Ukraine, which has dragged on for almost a year, despite expectations that it would be over within days.

Russia has also justified its invasion of Ukraine by baselessly claiming that the country is run by Nazis.

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and according to Western intelligence expected to quickly topple Ukraine's government and install a pro-Russian regime.

Instead, Ukrainian forces pushed Russia back in the east, with the war becoming a gruelling conflict with growing casualties on both sides.

Russian leaders have sought to ease fears and limit major criticism of its war effort.

Party officials also brought up Donbas, a region of Ukraine that was partly taken over by pro-Russian separatists in 2014.

"Stalingrad was defended for eight months, Donbas for eight years," the pro-Kremlin party said, according to The Moscow Times translation.

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