After numerous drone strikes over the past 24 hours on Russian soil, including an attack on the Kremlin, several Russian cities have decided to cancel their upcoming May 9 Victory Day parades – a celebration that commemorates the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.
Overnight, separate drone attacks caused damage to oil refineries in the southern oblasts of Krasnodar and Rostov. Four drones attacked the refinery in Krasnodar where a large fire broke out as a result of the strikes. While minimal damage occurred in Rostov.
According to a report from the Russian state media agency RT, “Earlier in the week, there was a drone incident at another oil facility in the same region, and last week, an oil terminal was hit in the city of Sevastopol in Crimea.”
“Kiev claimed responsibility for the latter, stating that the attack was meant to disrupt Russian military logistics ahead of the long-expected Ukrainian counteroffensive,” the report concluded.
The rash of recent attacks by Ukraine, possibly with the assistance of intelligence from its Western allies, has put much of Russia’s population on edge in recent days ahead of the annual Victory Day parades and celebrations. While last year’s parades were not as affected as they will be this year, several were toned down and a few were canceled.
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So far, at least 21 Russian cities have canceled their Victory Day parades as a result of the recent drone attacks. Many of the cancelations appear to be in cities along the Russian-Ukrainian border, which have seen continued shelling and drone strikes by Ukrainian forces since the start of the war.
Authorities in Moscow, while planning to go ahead with their Victory Day plans have taken extra precautions, which have included among other things, sealing off Red Square to the public a full 2 weeks ahead of the scheduled parade and festivities, according to a report from Zerohedge.
While many border cities are only now deciding to cancel events in light of drone attacks in recent days, some areas such as Belgorod and Kursk, which have been heavily hit by drone and missile strikes canceled their Victory Day events weeks ago. Four civilians were killed in Belgorod recently in Ukrainian missile and drone attacks.
As Moscow and larger cities prepare for the celebration, no-fly zones have been established, most notably in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
While Russia prepares for large-scale celebrations, Ukrainian cities prepare for retaliatory attacks in response to its recent strikes across the border. In the late hours of Thursday evening, intense drone activity was reported in the skies over Kyiv, with some of the drones being intercepted by anti-air defense systems.
Thursday’s attacks reportedly set off air raid sirens in Kyiv – a sound that has become normalized in recent days as Russia not only retaliates for the drone strikes on the Kremlin but also as it prepares for the stalled but much-anticipated Ukrainian spring counteroffensive that may finally be approaching.
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