Defence ministry presses on with plans for 9 May event with 15,000 troops, despite coronavirus pandemic

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Russia is holding rehearsals for its Victory Day parade, scheduled for 9 May despite the coronavirus crisis, as the Kremlin resists cancelling a patriotic holiday with major political significance.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is supposed to host France’s Emmanuel Macron and other world leaders at a military parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the second world war. The event is a significant historical landmark for Russia and a coveted photo opportunity to claim Putin’s re-emergence from political isolation in the west.

Video purportedly of Russian troops at the Victory Day Parade rehearsals in Alabino who aren’t quite meeting the 1.5 meter social distancing requirement instituted by local officials.https://t.co/Zhut8EX9gt pic.twitter.com/JIQLTPFUMQ

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