Russia has quarantined thousands of soldiers who took part in rehearsals for a Victory Day parade that appeared to flout physical distancing guidelines brought in…
Russia has quarantined thousands of soldiers who took part in rehearsals for a Victory Day parade that appeared to flout physical distancing guidelines brought in to stem the country’s coronavirus outbreak.
The defence ministry said it would be sending the soldiers, estimated to number 15,000, back to their bases, where they would be put under a two-week quarantine. The ministry did not indicate that any of the soldiers had been infected with the coronavirus.
The announcement came days after Vladimir Putin postponed celebrations for Victory Day on 9 May, a significant holiday in Russia usually marked by a military parade in Red Square and events where Russians pay respects to victims and veterans of the second world war.
The Kremlin had been hesitant to postpone the 75th anniversary celebrations, which Putin had hoped to use to strengthen ties with foreign leaders, in particular the French president, Emmanuel Macron, who was expected to attend.
Cases of coronavirus have been discovered in several Russian military units and academies. Last week, the defence ministry confirmed that dozens of cadets and instructors from the Nakhimov naval academy, which sends a delegation to march in the Victory Day parade, had been infected with coronavirus. The ministry said that none of those infected had taken part in the rehearsals.