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Putin sets date for delayed World War II Victory Parade

World War II Victory Day (may9.ru/WikiCommons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has set June 24 for holding a military parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

Putin ordered Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on May 26 to prepare for the parade, which was originally to be held on its regular date of May 9. June 24 was also the date of the first such parade, held in 1945.

The president postponed the parade in April as the country struggled to contain the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

Russia commemorates Victory Day on May 9 each year with a massive military display that sees thousands of troops and tanks parade through Red Square and military jets flying over Moscow.

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Putin’s April decision to postponed the parade came a day after veterans groups urged the Kremlin to call off the event over health and safety concerns.

Putin also said the Immortal Regiment march of citizens holding portraits of their relatives who took part in the World War II, as well as the traditional naval forces parade, which were also postponed because of the pandemic, will take place on July 26.

Later on May 26, Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev said he had accepted an invitation from Putin to attend the military parade on Red Square.