Putin reschedules WWII parade to June 24 after delay due to pandemic

Russian President Vladimir Putin has rescheduled a massive World War II anniversary parade in Moscow to June 24, after it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, state media reported on Tuesday.

The Soviet Union had the largest of the Allied forces and suffered tens of millions of casualties during the war.

The victory against Nazi Germany remains a substantial source of national pride.

The new date marks exactly 75 years since the Moscow Victory Parade of 1945.

“We will have it on June 24, on the day when in 1945 there was a legendary, historic parade of the victors,’’ Putin said in a decree carried by state media.

Russia had planned to have the Victory Day parade on May 9, the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s capitulation.

Putin postponed it in April as Russia’s coronavirus caseload was rapidly growing.

Putin had planned to host several world leaders, including France’s Emmanuel Macron and China’s Xi Jinping, on May 9.

Russian officials have been noting a declining infection rate in recent weeks, with regions throughout the country preparing to lift quarantine measures, which have devastated the economy.

Russia has reported more than 360,000 cases of the virus on its territory, with about 3,800 deaths directly linked to the disease, a mortality rate just above one per cent.

On the day Putin’s decree was published, Russia reported its highest single-day 174 deaths toll from the virus.

Russia has the world’s third-largest coronavirus caseload, behind the US and Brazil, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. (dpa/NAN)

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