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The Allies without Russia but with Zelensky expected at Omaha Beach for the 80th anniversary of D-Day

Eight decades later, on the same “bloody” Omaha beach, against the “aggressor”: the Allies meet again Thursday without Russia in Normandy but next to it by the Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky, to celebrate the victory over Nazism while war rages again in Europe.

American Presidents Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz are expected, among around twenty heads of state and government.

They will set foot on the most emblematic beach of the Landings, near Bayeux (Calvados), where the first American soldiers landed at dawn on June 6, 1944, and where the Allies lost the most losses. 'men facing the deluge of German fire.

The Allies without Russia but with Zelensky expected at Omaha Beach for the 80th anniversary of D-Day

French troops disembark from a U.S. landing craft during a joint U.S. and French amphibious landing operation, June 4, 2024, on Omaha Beach in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, northwest France © AFP – LOIC VENANCE

Ahead of the ceremony, which will begin at 3:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. GMT), barges will dock at Omaha Beach for a period re-enactment. A historical evocation of the Landing will follow, in several tables, as well as an overview of Douglas C-47s, nicknamed “Dakota”.

In the morning, national ceremonies will be chaired by King Charles III, President Biden and Justin Trudeau, in the presence of the last veterans.

The Landing, organized in the most great secret by the Americans, the British and the Canadians, would pave the way for the liberation of France and the defeat of Nazi Germany.

But 80 years after this titanic operation, all eyes will be on Ukraine, the scene since February 2022 of a deadly Russian offensive whose outcome still seems very far away.

– Interview with the JT –

Consequence of this “war of aggression”, affirmed Paris, Russia, one of the great victorious countries of Nazism, now a pariah on the Western international scene, was formally excluded from the celebrations.

The Allies without Russia but with Zelensky expected at Omaha Beach for the 80th anniversary of D-Day

Russian President Vladimir Putin during an interview with international news agencies in St. Petersburg, June 5, 2024 © POOL – Valentina PEVTCOVA

In 2014, President Vladimir Putin was still present, despite the annexation of Crimea three months earlier, in the name of the search for peace.

< p>He then met his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko, at the initiative of French President François Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

But the famous “Normandy format” dialogue , set up to try to put an end to the pro-Russian separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, has since fizzled and diplomacy has given way to war.

< p>After the failure of a Ukrainian counter-offensive in the second half of 2023, Russia, which already occupies nearly 20% of its neighbor's territory, continues to advance from the east to the north of the country.

The Allies without Russia but with Zelensky expected at Omaha Beach for the 80th anniversary of D-Day

President Emmanuel Macron and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky at the Elysée, February 16, 2024 in Paris © POOL – Thibault Camus

Emmanuel Macron, who intends to make these commemorations a major international event, three days before the European elections, will give a speech at Omaha Beach, followed by an interview at 8 p.m. on TF1's “JT” and France 2.

This presidential omnipresence, in the home stretch of the campaign, is widely criticized by the opposition.

< p>The Head of State will also receive his Ukrainian counterpart on Friday in Paris, the opportunity to make new announcements of military aid, then President Biden on Saturday for a state visit to the capital.

– Audace –

Joe Biden, arriving in France on Wednesday, will praise the alliances of the United States and plead for democracy, as much opportunities to continue his duel with Donald Trump remotely.

The Allies without Russia but with Zelensky expected at Omaha Beach for the 80th anniversary of D-Day

American President Joe Biden upon his arrival in Orly, in Val-de-Marne, June 5, 2024 © POOL – JULIEN DE ROSA

The allies of the United States fear, in the event of a victory for its Republican predecessor in November, a new isolationist turn by the United States, which could be fatal for Ukraine in the face of Russia.

On Wednesday, on the first day of commemorations, Emmanuel Macron praised the “spirit of sacrifice” of the liberators and paid tribute to the civilian victims of Allied bombings.

“I know our country is strong in its bold, valiant youth, ready for the same spirit of sacrifice as its elders”, he declared, paying tribute to the Breton resistance fighters and the paratroopers of Free France within the SAS, the British special forces, in Plumelec (Morbihan).

In Saint-Lô (Manche), destroyed under Allied bombs during the night from June 6 to 7, 1944, he called for “recognition with clarity and force” the civilian victims, who died for “freedom and the homeland”.

Wednesday evening, he also paid tribute to the inmates of the Caen prison, mainly resistance fighters, shot by the Germans during the Landings.

Friday, the head of state will deliver a speech in Bayeux, where General de Gaulle spoke shortly after the Landings, on June 14, 1944, then presented his presidential project for France in June 1946.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116