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Russian Border Regions Call Off Victory Day Parades

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At least two Russian regions bordering Ukraine will not hold their traditional military parades marking the Soviet victory in World War II next month, regional leaders have said amid heightened concerns over spillover from the war.

Cities across Russia celebrate the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany on May 9 each year, with the parades featuring military hardware towed through central squares and fighter jet flyovers.

Roman Starovoit, governor of the Kursk region which borders eastern Ukraine’s Sumy region, said Monday that the Victory Day parade will not be held in Kursk due to tightened “anti-terrorist measures,” according to the Kurzk-izvestia.ru news website.

Last week, Russia’s Belgorod region became the first to cancel its Victory Day parade.

“There won’t be a parade in order to not provoke the enemy with large numbers of equipment and service members in central Belgorod,” regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Wednesday.

Russian regions sharing a border with Ukraine have reported regular rocket and drone attacks in the more than 13 months since Russia invaded its western neighbor.

Both regions held Victory Day parades in 2022, with Kursk hosting more than 1,000 local garrison soldiers, cadets, and members of security agencies.

However, other southern Russian regions, including Voronezh and Rostov, as well as Russian-annexed Crimea, confirmed Monday that they would be going ahead with their Victory Day parades. 

The Kremlin said Monday that regional heads are responsible for deciding whether to cancel Victory Day parades based on security precautions.

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