Russia’s isolation from the global community illustrated by poor turnout at Victory Day Parade
Russia held a grandiose military parade on June 24 in honor of the 75th anniversary of victory in World War II. However, among the international guests in Moscow, there were no representatives from the Western world, and even the loyal leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Central Asian countries, were not in attendance.
“Russia has so damaged its reputation that even allies shy away,” experts commented.
The parade was supposed to take place on May 9, the day of victory over fascist Germany, but celebrations were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The parade was attended by up to 15,000 troops and more than 200 units of military equipment and aircraft, including some from WWII.
Foreign guests — who came and who turned down the invitation
President Putin himself invited foreign leaders to the parade, and official reports from the Kremlin state that the heads of Belarus, Uzbekistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Serbia all attended.
- The new Russian constitution: Putin for life, God, and the special role of Russian speakers. What does it all mean?
Both Russian and international media sources write that many presidents with whom Russia has a good relationship refused to attend the celebration under various pretexts.
The Russian Novaya Gazeta listed some of the ways that heads of state justified refusing the invitation. The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan used the same excuse about the need to combat the pandemic in their own country.
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that he would like to come, but he has good reason to stay home—the age of the Prophet. In Islam, when a man turns 63, it is known as the age of the prophet, and must be celebrated with the family.
Croatian President Zoran Milanovic refused to travel to Moscow, as his plane experienced sudden technical issues.
“They are shying away from Moscow”
This list of guests who attended, as well as those who at first agreed to come, but then later refused, represents a complete and utter failure, experts say.
“The Russian regime has so ruined its own reputation among the global community that dealing with Russia has become too high a price to pay. Nobody wants to go to Moscow without special need. Why expose themselves to criticism?” reports Novaya Gazeta, quoting political analyst Abbas Gallyamov.
“Everyone would be further embarrassed by Putin’s remarks about the “Russian lands” that were unfairly distributed to other states, and his English-language article about World War II,” adds political geographer Dmitry Oreshkin.
“This is an act of mass isolation, even (French President) Macron, it seems, was about to come, but also changed his mind. Everyone is just shying away from Moscow,” he said.
Gallyamov is certain that this is a painful blow for the Kremlin.
“Opinion polls show that Russians do not like the idea of being isolated. It’s one thing when you rebel against the injustice that America is doing in the world, and all those oppressed by stand behind you, and it’s quite another when you find yourself an outcast, to whom no one wants to give a hand,” explains Gallyamov, describing the prevailing public opinion.