France has decided to hold a restricted May 8 parade to commemorate victory in World War II, even as Russia postponed a massive show of military might on the same day.
While France will have the President and a few dignitaries participating in the parade which no members of the public will be allowed to watch, Russia postponed the parade to a later, unspecified date, after some soldiers tested positive for COVID-19 during a dress rehearsal.
Strict distancing measures and regulations have been put in place amid coronavirus pandemic. The event will be broadcast live on television, the French defense ministry said on April 20.
Meanwhile the Russian Ministry of Defense has asked all of its military personnel that had been rehearsing for the parade to return to their home bases “in accordance with the decision to postpone the Victory Day parade on Red Square.”
“Upon arrival, all military personnel who took part in rehearsals will be placed in two-week quarantine,” the MoD said Monday.
In a televised meeting with officials and health experts the same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country had managed to slow the spread of the virus. “But we have not yet passed the peak of the outbreak,” he added.
Around 15,000 troops and 400 pieces of military equipment were estimated to take part in the parade this year. All military vehicles and equipment will now be disinfected.
This year’s edition of the event will see Russia’s Buk M3 air defense system making its debut. Fifty-five aircraft including Su-57 stealth jets, Su-35S fighters, Tu-160 bombers and attack helicopters will fly past the Red Square during the parade.