Russian President Vladimir Putin declares country has surpassed COVID-19 peak and orders World War II parade in June


President Vladimir Putin was forced to announce a parade postponement until mid-April, as viral infections increased


President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia has passed its peak of coronavirus infections and has ordered a World War II victory parade postponed by the pandemic next month.

The postponement of the May 9 Victory Day parade was a blow to Putin, who hoped to bring together world leaders to watch troops marching on Red Square to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany.

But with the number of new coronavirus cases on the decline in Russia, Putin told Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to postpone the parade until June 24.

“According to experts, the peak can be considered to be exceeded,” Putin told Shoigu during a television video link.

“We will do this on June 24, the day on which the parade of the legendary historic victors took place in 1945,” said Putin, referring to the first victory parade in Red Square after Germany’s surrender to the Soviet commanders. May 9.

With leaders such as Chinese Xi Jinping and Frenchman Emmanuel Macron, this year’s parade was designed as a major showcase for Russia’s return to the world stage.

Putin was forced to announce his delay in mid-April, as coronavirus infections increased and authorities ordered closings across the country.

After peaking in mid-May with more than 11,000 new cases a day, the number of daily infections has dropped below 9,000.

The country recorded its highest number of deaths per day on Tuesday, 174, still far below the number of countries with similar infection rates, and said a record 12,000 people had recovered from the disease. coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

Russia has the third highest number of cases after the United States and Brazil, which is largely due to a massive testing campaign.

Authorities have eased the blockages despite the high number of infections, although strict restrictions remain in place in the hard-hit areas of Moscow until at least May 31.

Strict security measures

Putin said “strict security measures” should be put in place for the parade.

“The risks to all participants should be minimized, if not better, eliminated,” he said.

Another popular event usually held on May 9 – the immortal regiment processions that see Russians across the country carrying portraits of relatives who died in World War II – will take place on July 26, said Putin.

Russian naval bases will also hold traditional naval parades that day, he said.

Putin has made clear in recent days that he believes Russia has weathered the worst of the pandemic.

On Monday, he made a rare recent appearance for a meeting in the Kremlin, having worked remotely from his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside of Moscow in recent weeks.

The pandemic has derailed Putin’s plans for a triumphant spring, not only was the parade postponed, but also a vote in April on constitutional reforms that would have paved the way for the longtime president who could potentially remain in power until in 2036.

Officials said they still hoped the vote could take place this year, but have yet to announce a date.

The government’s handling of the crisis has been criticized, with critics saying that Putin initially seemed disinterested in the face of the pandemic.

A survey by independent Levada pollster showed that Putin’s approval rating had dropped to a historic low of 59% in April.

In recent weeks, he has taken a more direct approach, blaming officials for not providing enough protective gear or promising bonuses to medical workers.

(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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