And Moscow is reopening just in time for the festivities. The last set of lockdown restrictions on gyms and restaurants will be lifted Monday, a week earlier than originally planned by the mayor and just in time for the big military parade in Red Square. The festivities are all part of the run-up to another big event for Putin: a nationwide vote on amendments to the country's constitution, scheduled for July 1.
It's a return to normality for Russians exhausted by lockdown and economic uncertainty. But coronavirus has left a cloud of uncertainty over the festivities, which were postponed amid pandemic fears.
By tradition, World War II veterans occupy the viewing stand next to Putin as thousands of soldiers march across Red Square. But this year, those veterans are quarantined at a health resort outside of Moscow. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has asked residents to watch the event on TV, saying attendance will be limited.
And while Moscow is still going ahead with the parade, other cities have curbed their enthusiasm for the celebration amid coronavirus fears.
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