May 26 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday the government will stage the Victory Day parade in about a month, after it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The military parade marking the 75th anniversary of Russia's defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, originally set for May 9, will now be held on June 24.
Citing declining COVID-19 cases, Putin ordered Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to begin preparations for the event. June 24 is the same sate the first parade was held in 1945, when 40,000 Soviet troops marched through Red Square in Moscow.
"We will do this on June 24, the day when the legendary, historic parade of winners took place, when fighters who fought near Moscow and defended Leningrad, who fought near Stalingrad, liberated Europe and stormed Berlin, walked along Red Square," Putin said.
The Russian president, however, did not say whether spectators will be able to attend, as large gatherings are still banned.
At his meeting with Shoigu, Putin said, "according to experts, the peak [of the pandemic] is considered passed." He also asked the defense minister to "ensure the most stringent safety requirements in the preparation and conduct of the parade."
Russian officials say new COVID-19 cases are in decline. The nation reported 8,900 new cases Tuesday, fewer than Monday's figure.