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Putin to Revive Soviet-Era Athletes Parades on Red Square

Participants of the Parade of Athletes march in Red Square in 1935. Nikolai Kubeyev / TASS

President Vladimir Putin has ordered the revival of Soviet-era Athletes Parades on Red Square. 

The government has been instructed to prepare proposals for the parades by March 2024, according to the order published on the Kremlin website.

The Soviet Union regularly held these parades on Red Square beginning in 1919 as a way of promoting physical education and sports among the populace.

The events, which consisted of thousands of participants from each of the U.S.S.R.'s republics, were presided over by Soviet ruler Josef Stalin starting in 1931. 

The parades continued until 1945, when the Soviet Union was celebrating its victory in World War II. After that, the events were largely replaced with workers’ demonstrations and military parades. 

According to the state-run TASS news agency, the move to revive sports parades came at the behest of International Boxing Association President Umar Kremlev, who proposed the idea when Putin visited a Russian sports forum in Perm in October.

Putin's parade order is just one of many instructions given following an October meeting of the Presidential Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sports. 

Government bodies were also ordered to submit proposals to gradually reduce dependence on imported goods for elite and professional sports, redirect gambling revenues to develop sports for people with disabilities and develop the domestic video game market.

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