As of the morning of Sunday, Russia reported 186 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number to over 15,700. Against the backdrop of a persistent epidemic spread across Russia, having a devastating effect, the idea of holding mass events, such as the May 9 Victory Day parade, seems absurd. However, the idea lives on and preparations continue – in Moscow and beyond!
Almost simultaneously with the report on the latest official stats on the COVID-19 spread pace at 1,600 per day, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Victory Parade, dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the end of World War 2, isn't being postponed so far.
Speaking at a panel show on a federal TV channel, he noted that no decisions have been made to postpone the Parade itself, the festive events surrounding it, and the so-called "Immortal Regiment" march!
That is, in the midst of the pandemic, while experts warn of the looming peak Russia will be facing in late April – early May, the Kremlin still hopes to hold parades and even the "Immortal Regiment" marches across Russia… This is utter recklessness or a total lack of the self-preservation instinct, it seems. After all, these "festivities" have every chance to go down in history as a "Parade of the Living Dead" or "Suicide Regiment".
Meanwhile, the facts testifying to an epidemiological disaster that Moscow doctors fail to tackle are becoming undeniable. Moreover, while federal media seem to either underestimate the scale in their biased reports, Muscovites have taken to social networks with posts reporting the unfolding epidemiological apocalypse, uploading scores of terrifying pictures and videos proving their point.
Despite all this, the Kremlin pursues with major preparations for the May 9 Parade for the sake of their much-sought "geopolitical triumph" and putting at stake the health and lives of participants who aren't provided with basic PPE at mass rehearsals where contamination risk is the highest.
Dozens of troops preparing for the Moscow parade have already been infected, while hundreds of military servicemen have been quarantined, reports circulating in social networks say.
The Russian defense ministry is desperately rushing to test as many military as possible ahead of the big day, swap the infected troops for healthy ones, and setting up an emergency field hospital for the sick servicemen, whose number is likely to grow exponentially.
But what's most surprising though is that the Kremlin hasn't dropped plans to invite foreign leaders to attend their "Parade of the Living Dead". They're inviting them not only in the context of victory over the Nazi brown plague, but also in the context of victory over the coronavirus. And that's what's most alarming.
The thing is that by late April, to satisfy the Kremlin's ambitions, the official COVID-19 stats which are already controversial may even show a decline. Moreover, by May 9, Russian authorities could go as far as announcing a symbolic and landmark victory over the COVID-19 ...
That would be an epic, albeit suicidal, move.
All for the sake of the Parade!