Putin's plans for Victory Parade in Moscow
To make up for the cancellation due to coronavirus of the traditional military parade marking the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany on 9 May 1945, President Putin has announced plans to hold a parade on June 24 instead. Russia's media still fear the virus and warn against holding such a major event in the current situation.
As decadent as Rome under Nero
It's insane to hold such a parade in the midst of a pandemic, writes Kirill Martynov, political editor of Novaya Gazeta, in a Facebook post republished by Echo of Moscow:
“Military parades are an act of state vanity and a terrible atavism. ... If in the past reservations about the parade had economic and political motives, now it can only be seen as an open affront to the people and reason. I can't think of any examples of rulers scheduling military games in a completely quarantined metropolis in the past. Mentality-wise, it would fit in with Rome under Nero. The edict for the parade dictates that any health risks are to be ruled out. This simply means that officially no one will suffer - in the worst case the statistics will be bent to look as good as possible.”
Virus will mingle with the crowds
Radio Kommersant FM is also concerned about the military parade's potential health risks:
“This is not the time for big celebrations. The world is only just beginning to come back to its senses after the pandemic. At least the civilized West is. ... It cannot be ruled out that citizens, driven by their longing for big events, will go out en masse to marvel at the military technology. Yes, we have reached a plateau in the coronavirus infection rate. ... But perhaps the virus will strike again when it notices crowds everywhere. Such an approach does not really fit in well with a big show of patriotism.”