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ISW: Russia likely using Kremlin drone strike to cancel Victory Day parades

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 5, 2023 5:30 AM 2 min read
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Russian officials are likely using the alleged May 3 drone strike on the Kremlin as a pretext to continue cancelling upcoming Victory Day parades, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update.

Russia said the Kremlin was targeted with drones overnight on May 3, accusing Ukraine and the West of attempting to assassinate Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. Video footage showed two drones exploding over the official residence of the president located within the Kremlin in Moscow's Red Square.  

Russian authorities have already canceled May 9 Victory Day celebrations in at least 21 cities. Officials claim they are cancelling the parades for "moral and ethical reasons" and out of concern for soldiers Russian soldiers undergoing rehabilitation.

The Kremlin may be cancelling the celebrations in order to "to conceal the degradation of the Russian military" caused by Russia's war against Ukraine, according to the ISW.

It also likely fears that celebrations honoring fallen soldiers could become a source of political unrest over Russia's very high casualty rates in Ukraine. "Russian officials have canceled immortal regiment memorial events in recent weeks likely for such reasons," the ISW wrote.

The D.C.-based think tank earlier reported on May 3 that several indicators suggest the drone strike was purposefully staged by Russia to shore up domestic support for the war and to " set conditions for a wider societal mobilization," framing the attack as part of larger existential threats to Russia.

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