The address of president Putin during the 9 May Victory Parade on Red square was shorter than usual. The number of men and equipment was reduced by 30%compared to previous years; seats on the side of Lenin’s Mausoleum, traditionally packed with foreign diplomats and officials, were sparsely occupied. The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, had anticipated unpleasant questions by announcing that no invitations had been sent to former allies in the anti-Hitler coalition, nor to Germany or Japan, because it was not an even date, just the 77 th anniversary; and that the event will be scaled down. The surprise was not so much about what Putin said, but what he didn’t.
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