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Media: Russia cancels May 9 celebrations in at least 21 cities
Russian authorities have canceled May 9 celebrations in at least 21 cities, Russian independent outlet Vertska reported on May 4.
The upcoming May 9 celebrations to commemorate the Soviet Union's victory against Nazi Germany will be the second held since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 4, 2022.
According to Vertska, May 9 celebrations were held last year in some of the 21 cities, pointing to growing security fears within Russia.
Some of the cities are located close to Russia's border with Ukraine, such as Belgorod and Brynask, while others, such as Tyumen and Nizhnevartovsk, are deeper inside Russian territory.
The mayoral offices of the cities located farther from the Ukrainian border claimed the cancellations were made in "solidarity with other regions of the country, where, for security reasons, festive events have already been canceled," according to Vertska.
Authorities in Velikiye Luki and Pskov claimed that it was for "moral and ethical aspects" given the number of wounded Russian soldiers undergoing rehabilitation there who would "perceive the sounds of fireworks in a completely different way," Vertska wrote.
Russian state news agency TASS reported on April 18 that May 9 celebrations will not include the "Immortal Regiment" march this year, where Russians carry photos of their relatives who fought in or were killed during World War II.