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Russian veterans’ organizations call on Putin to postpone Victory Day parade

The move is dictated by the threat of the novel coronavirus pandemic

MOSCOW, April 15. /TASS/. Russia’s veterans’ organizations have appealed to President Vladimir Putin to postpone the May 9 parade in Moscow until the situation with the coronavirus spread normalizes.

"On behalf of the entire veteran community, we ask you to make a difficult, but, as we believe, a fair decision to hold a military parade on another date when, in accordance with the epidemiological situation, the parade will not be a threat, but truly a triumph of peace and security for all its participants," the statement reads.

The statement was signed by President of the Russian Heroes’ Association Vladimir Shamanov, Chairman of the All-Russian Public Organization of Veterans of War, Labor, Armed Forces and Law Enforcement Agencies Vladimir Yepifanov and Head of the All-Russian Public Organization of the Armed Forces’ Veterans Viktor Yermakov.

In their statement, the heads of veterans’ organizations noted that "unfortunately given the current situation in the world it’s impossible to guarantee health security during the parade." They stressed that the events cannot endanger the health of the participants and guests.

"In our view, this decision [on postponing the parade] will serve as a manifestation of respect for the veterans who fought for the country’s future, for the servicemen who are now on guard of the motherland, and for all our citizens who celebrate Victory Day as the main holiday of our Great Russia!" the authors of this appeal said.

To date, a total of 24,490 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 1,986 patients having recovered from the virus. Russia’s latest data indicates 198 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.