Authorities in St. Petersburg have called off the city's official New Year’s and Christmas celebrations and plan to reallocate the funds to the Russian military, the city government announced Friday.
The move comes amid widespread reports of newly mobilized Russian soldiers lacking equipment, uniforms and medical supplies.
Russia's second-largest city will scrap all its traditional festivities, which include the annual New Year’s concert on the central Palace Square and a charity reception at the Tauride Palace.
Only festive activities for children will go ahead as planned, according to the announcement.
“All saved funds will be used to buy additional gear and equipment for the volunteers and the mobilized [to fight in Ukraine],” said the message posted on the official government page on VKontakte social media network.
St. Petersburg is the third Russian region to cancel its winter festivities and reallocate the funds toward recently mobilized men.
Similar measures were also announced earlier this week by the government of the surrounding Leningrad region and the eastern Kaluga region.
Moscow city authorities are set to decide next week on whether the city’s New Year festivities will take place or not, a city deputy told state-run media.