MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday postponed the Victory Day parade celebrating the 75th anniversary of the World War II victory amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The risks associated with the epidemic, the peak of which is not passed, are still extremely high. And this does not give me the right to begin preparations for the parade and other public events," Putin said at an online meeting with the country's Security Council.
Putin said he had instructed Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the heads of security and law enforcement bodies and authorities at all levels to postpone preparations for the parade on Moscow's Red Square, parades in the regions and all the massive public events planned for May 9.
The May 9 parade in Moscow was considered as one of the most important events in Russia this year, to which leaders of many countries had been invited.
A total of 15,000 troops, 225 weapons and military equipment units, as well as 150 aircraft were expected to take part in the parade on the Red Square.