';
×
× Digital News Videos Opinions Health & Science Cartoons Education U-Report E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian SDE Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×

A Mi-26 heavy transport helicopter and Mi-8 military helicopters fly in formation during an air parade on Victory Day, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2020. [Reuters]

Russia marks 75 years since the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two on Saturday, but the coronavirus outbreak has forced it to scale back celebrations seen as boosting support for the Kremlin.

With coronavirus infections rising, President Vladimir Putin last month postponed the highlight of Victory Day celebrations, a massive parade on Red Square that showcases Moscow’s most sophisticated military hardware, to an unspecified date.

In previous years, Putin basked in national pride as he watched Russian tanks rumble across the square with world leaders by his side. But a recent poll gave him his lowest approval rating in more than two decades and the country’s economy is slipping into a deep downturn.

Putin has described Victory Day celebrations as sacred to Russians but said a big public event was too risky during the pandemic. As of Friday, Russia had reported 187,859 coronavirus cases and 1,723 deaths.

SEE ALSO: I have reopened the nation, but we are still facing an invisible enemy, be civil

In a slimmed-down celebration, Putin will lay flowers at the Eternal Flame war memorial outside the Kremlin walls and deliver a speech.

Fireworks will be let off across Russia as much of the country remains in lockdown, the Defence Ministry has said.

The Russian air force will carry out fly-pasts over more than 47 cities, as well as at its military base in Syria, with a full array of jets and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighters, the country’s most advanced warplanes.

Public processions commemorating Soviet participants in the war that are normally held on May 9 have been moved online, with people uploading pictures of family members and telling their war stories.

On the eve of the anniversary, Putin sent congratulatory letters to many former Soviet republics, as well as to the leaders of Britain, the United States and France.

SEE ALSO: Pandemic peels back mask on youths' struggle with mental health

Putin has accused Russia’s detractors of diminishing the Soviet war effort, and on Friday he warned post-Soviet leaders against what he said were attempts to rewrite the history of World War Two.

In his messages to foreign leaders, Putin said their countries should build on the cooperation between the Soviet Union and the Allies as Moscow’s relations with the West remain fraught.

“This invaluable cooperation experience is highly needed even today,” Putin wrote to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Kremlin said.


President Vladimir Putin Victory Day celebrations Eternal Flame Kremlin Coronavirus
Share this story

Read More