Victory Day Silenced: Russia Scales Back Celebrations Amid War

Tiraspol is cancelling the Victory Day parade and the traditional Immortal Regiment march for the third year in a row. / Marșul Regimentului nemuritor, Tiraspol, 2019
Sursa: / Marșul Regimentului nemuritor, Tiraspol, 2019

Separatist leader Vadim Krasnoselski cites the region remaining under a 'yellow code' of terrorist threat, imposed since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow also recently announced restrictions on the upcoming May 9th demonstrations. Seven regions and 23 cities in Russia have scrapped the Immortal Regiment march due to fears of protests and drone attacks.

According to WatchDog experts, the decision to restrict these demonstrations, which promote the image of the Russian government and bolster nationalist sentiment, stems from Russia's mounting military casualties in Ukraine. With an estimated 450,000 dead and wounded, the authorities fear an outpouring of grief and anger from the families of victims if the marches are allowed to proceed. This could potentially turn into public displays of dissent against the war.

"WatchDog expert Andrei Curararu explained that Moscow authorities fear tens, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of relatives of those killed in the Ukraine war will show up, which would be a public relations nightmare. They are also concerned about potential Ukrainian drone attacks that could disrupt the event."

The cancellation of the Immortal Regiment march is not the only security measure being taken by Russian authorities in the lead-up to Victory Day. Last year's Red Square parade lacked its usual air component and featured less military equipment. This year, there is a possibility that the military parade will be entirely canceled, despite having already held its first rehearsal. Military experts believe that Ukraine's demonstrated ability to launch drone strikes that can reach Moscow is a major concern, with ensuring President Putin's personal security being the top priority for the Russian government.

Translation by Iurie Tataru

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