The Russian government will postpone its Victory Day parade over concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
RBC, a Russian news outlet, reported on Thursday that the annual Victory Day parade, which commemorates the end of the war against Germany in World War II, will be postponed, a decision made as Russia looks to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Sources in the presidential administration and defense ministry informed the news outlet of the decision, which has not been formally announced yet.
President Vladimir Putin will likely make a statement on the parade’s postponement this week, RBC reported.
A new date for holding the parade has not been confirmed. Russian media outlets suggested it could be held in the summer or fall.
The Russian government had resisted postponing the parade, which this year marks the 75th anniversary of the victory over Germany. It was due to be held on May 9, and preparations were already underway for the proceedings. Russia often uses the occasion to reveal new military hardware in Red Square in the city of Moscow.
The online Russian newspaper Meduza noted that the event usually includes veterans, who are at high risk for complications from COVID-19. The virus has infected over 2.1 million people globally and resulted in over 136,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has tracked reported cases of the virus.
Russia has close to 28,000 cases of the virus and has reported 232 deaths. Moscow has enacted a lockdown to contain the spread, and other regions in the country have followed suit.