Vladimir Putin holds a video conference meeting at his residence on March 26. Photo: Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS via Getty Images

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

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Sep 2, 2020 - Health

America's botched coronavirus response foretells a dark future

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

America's failures in handling the coronavirus pandemic bode ill for our ability to deal with climate change and other threats that loom on the horizon.

Why it matters: America's ongoing struggles with the coronavirus have caused tremendous human and economic pain. But what should worry us for future disasters that could be far worse is the way the pandemic has exposed deep political divisions and a disinformation ecosystem that muddies even the hardest facts.

Colleges drive a new wave of coronavirus hotspots

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Washington state case count does not include Sept. 1; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

America’s brief spurt of progress in containing the coronavirus has stalled out.

Why it matters: We had a nice little run of improvement over the past month or so, but cases are now holding steady at a rate that’s still far too high to consider the outbreak under control.

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