Planned Victory Day air shows were canceled in locations across Russia, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, Russian state news agency TASS reported Monday.
The decision raised eyebrows among foreign military analysts watching Moscow’s Victory Day parade on Monday. The parade had been expected to feature 77 aircraft flying over the capital’s Red Square, including eight MiG-29 fighters flying in a “Z” formation to show support for Russian troops fighting in Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow’s air show was canceled due to weather conditions, according to state news agency RIA Novosti. Aviation shows were also canceled in Samara, Kaliningrad, and Murmansk, TASS wrote.
Sounds unbelievable. It seemed sunny on what I saw. The only excuse would be strong crosswinds at the air bases the aircraft were coming from,” Peter Layton, a fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute in Australia and former Australian air force officer, told CNN.
During the parade in Moscow, winds were sustained at around 15 mph, with gusts reported at around 30 mph at 11 a.m. local time. The cloud cover was also increasing throughout the morning with mostly cloudy skies during the parade, according to CNN Meteorologist Monica Garrett.
Light rain was reported after 12:30 p.m. local.
The only air parade scheduled in Russia’s south, which was due to be held in the city of Rostov-on-Don, did not take place, TASS said, citing the press service of the Southern Military District.