Putin presses forward with Victory Day parade, despite climbing coronavirus cases
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his defense minister to start planning the country's annual military parade on Tuesday, saying that the event would take place on June 24, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Why it matters: Russia is reporting the third most coronavirus cases in the world, per Johns Hopkins data. Experts doubt the official numbers, as the country is reporting significantly fewer deaths than the other most-affected nations.
Our thought bubble, via Axios' Dave Lawler: Opportunities to display strength and channel national pride are critically important to Putin, particularly now. Doubts are creeping in about his government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and a referendum that could allow him to hold onto power through 2036 is expected to be rescheduled soon.
Details: The parade, which normally takes place in early May to celebrate the Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany, was postponed due to the virus.
- Russia is reporting over 360,000 cases and nearly 4,000 deaths associated with COVID-19, per Johns Hopkins.
Go deeper: Pandemic brings Putin down to size