The Kremlin has canceled Russia’s World War II Immortal Regiment remembrance marches next month out of fears that the events would turn into protests over casualties being suffered by the country’s troops in Ukraine, according to the British Ministry of Defense.
“The Russian state is struggling to maintain consistency in a core narrative that it uses to justify the war in Ukraine,” the MOD said, reports The Telegraph.
It also said that by canceling its Immortal Regiment parades, set for next month, the Kremlin is undermining its propaganda that Russian soldiers are fighting against Nazis.
According to Western intelligence figures, more than 200,000 of Russia’s soldiers and mercenaries have been killed or suffered serious injuries since the Feb. 24, 2022 invasion, but such numbers are either ignored or lied about in Russia, the MOD said.
“In reality, the authorities were highly likely concerned that participants would highlight the scope of recent Russian losses,” the department said.
Immortal Regiment parades are often the centerpiece of Russia’s May 9 Victory Day celebrations, with hundreds of thousands of Russians marching through the nation’s streets.
They carry portraits of Red Army soldiers who fought against Nazi Germany, as well as photos of soldiers who died fighting in Afghanistan in the 1980s and Chechnya in the 1990s.
But Tuesday, the Kremlin-linked organization behind such parades said the celebration would be moved inside for safety reasons.
Several cities had already canceled their May 9 parades as well, but the country’s main parade in Red Square is expected to go ahead as planned, with President Vladimir Putin in attendance.
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