Vladimir Putin arrived at the Victory Day celebrations in Moscow on Tuesday morning. The Russian leader appeared after claims a body double would be sent in his place for security reasons.
According to former deputy minister at the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko, Putin’s “fears” of an attack during the parade are high.
He said: “Putin will not dare to appear at the parade, but will send a double.
“Real fears for his life will force Putin to sit in a bunker, sending another double [onto Red Square].
“A drone strike on the Kremlin on May 3 further heightened Putin’s fears. Now the chances that he, and not some character playing his role, will participate in the parade, are equal to zero.”
Russia enacted a major security clampdown ahead of Tuesday’s annual commemorations marking the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, curbing the use of drones and ride-sharing services in its largest cities — even jet skis on the canals of St. Petersburg — amid its 14-month war with Ukraine.
At least 21 Russian cities cancelled May 9 military parades — the staple of Victory Day celebrations across Russia — for the first time in years, Russian media said.
Regional officials blamed unspecified “security concerns” or vaguely referred to “the current situation” for the restrictions and cancellations. It was not clear whether their decisions were taken in coordination with the Kremlin.
More to follow…