Russian-appointed head of Crimea cancels May 9 Victory Day celebrations due to “security reasons”

Olga Voitovych in Kyiv and Sarah Dean in London

Authorities in Russian-annexed Crimea and the city of Sevastopol have cancelled parades and marches to celebrate Victory Day on May 9 and May Day (May 1) citing security reasons.

The two dates are public holidays in Russia, with May 9 marking Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.

“The authorities of the Republic of Crimea and the city-hero of Sevastopol made a joint decision not to hold festive demonstrations on May 1, the ‘Immortal Regiment’ marches and the military parade on May 9. This decision is due to security reasons,” the Russian-appointed Head of Crimea Sergey Aksenov said on Telegram.

Aksenov noted that representatives of local authorities will visit veterans and congratulate them on Victory Day.

The situation in Crimea: While any Ukrainian offensive to reclaim Crimea is at best distant, the Russians are taking no chances.

As CNN reported last month, Russia is going to great lengths to fortify the peninsula, which it illegally annexed in 2014.

The Ukrainian military, meanwhile, has been carrying out attacks in Crimea with two goals: harass the Russian Black Sea fleet and disrupt vital Russian supply lines.

Few details emerge about Ukrainian strikes in Crimea. Only occasionally does unofficial social media video provide clues about what has been hit. And only occasionally do normally circumspect Ukrainian officials refer to any actions in Crimea.

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