very close to the border, the celebrations of May 9 reduced to a minimum “so as not to provoke the enemy”

On May 9, Russia celebrates the surrender of Nazi Germany to the Allies in 1945. A year after the start of the war in Ukraine, commemorations are restricted to “not take risks”.

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Russian soldiers drive tanks during the May 9 military parade in Moscow's Red Square in 2022. Illustrative photo.  (ALEXANDER NEMENOV / AFP)

Rarely has a 9-May have been so gloomy in Russia, or even downright non-existent in around twenty cities which preferred to give up the nevertheless immovable military parade, as in Belgorod, very close to the Ukrainian border. “There will be no parade, so as not to provoke the enemy with a large concentration of equipment and soldiers in the center of Belgorod, justifies the governor of the region, Viacheslav Vladkov. The main thing, I think we are all aware of, is the safety of the population of the Belgorod region. No one will take any chances!”

>> War in Ukraine: we explain why May 9 is a key date for Vladimir Putin

Since the USSR, Moscow celebrates the end of the Second World War on May 9, and not on the 8th. On Tuesday, the celebrations of the victory of “the great patriotic war” take place at 9 am French time, 10 am on the spot. In 2022, the power seized the opportunity to exploit the memory of the war in a parallel with the invasion of Ukraine. This should still be the case this year, even if a year of war seems to have eroded the Kremlin’s will to make it a day of celebration. Between canceled parades and threats of attacks, Russia may be proud today, that does not deceive anyone.

Celebrations without an immortal regiment

In Moscow, the ceremony and Vladimir Putin’s speech will take place in Red Square, which has been closed for two weeks already. Then there will be the military parade, and that will be it. There will be no immortal regiment, this great popular celebration where hundreds of thousands of Russians came to parade with the portrait of one of their ancestors in their hands. Igor, a 60-year-old from Moscow, says “approve” this decision.

“We live in unusual times. Anything can happen. Drones are flying all over the Moscow region, so I think it’s a good decision.”

Igor, a resident of Moscow

at franceinfo

People carry portraits of their loved ones - World War II soldiers - as they take part in the Immortal Regiment march through central St. Petersburg on May 9, 2022. (OLGA MALTSEVA / AFP)

According to some analysts, however, it was not the drones that led the authorities to cancel the parades of the immortal regiment, but rather the fear of seeing photos of fallen soldiers in Ukraine.

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