Russia will cancel the annual Victory Day parade on May 9 in occupied Crimea due to “security issues.”

Victory Day is a holiday that commemorates the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 celebrated in many post-Soviet countries, which is normally accompanied by a military parade as a show of strength by the Kremlin.

In recent years, the parade has also been a major supplement to the Kremlin’s narrative of its alleged fight against Nazism.

Sergey Aksyonov, head of Russian-occupied Crimea, made the announcement on Telegram and said “there are no plans” to hold a military parade on May 9 “due to security issues” without elaborating on said issues.

“However, we will definitely pay tribute to our veterans, honor the memory of those who died, and hold festive events in different formats. In a word, Crimea will celebrate Victory Day with dignity,” said Aksyonov.

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The parade was likely canceled due to frequent Ukrainian strikes on occupied Crimea, which severely crippled Russia’s Black Sea Fleet; However, it is also possible that there’s a lack of weapon to be displayed on the parade as most were likely sent to the front.

In 2023, only one tank – an antique T-34-85 unit produced in 1944-1946 – went on display on Red Square during the Victory Day parade, as opposed to the grandiose show of modern weaponry prior to Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine

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Ukraine celebrated Victory Day on May 9 up until 2013 as per the Soviet tradition, prior to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. It was then changed to Victory Day over Nazism in World War II in a bid to distance itself from the Soviet regime.

Many other nations involved in defeating Nazi Germany, including the US, UK and Canada in 1945 called May 9 V-E (Victory-Europe) day since, along with Australia and China, they continued the fight against the Axis, officially ending World War II on Sept. 2, 1945, with V-J (Victory Over Japan) day.

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In 2023, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree to declare the day Europe Day instead, a day celebrating “peace and unity in Europe” by the EU.

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