The first May Day parade in Red Square since the demise of the USSR was held today, keeping close to the Soviet-era playbook:
Unlike Kremlin leaders in Soviet times, Putin did not personally preside at the parade from atop the mausoleum. But he carried out another Soviet-era tradition by awarding “Hero of Labour” medals to five workers at a ceremony in the Kremlin. He revived the Stalin-era award a year ago.
Putin has also revived the Soviet-era practice of staging massive displays of military firepower on Red Square to mark May 9, the allied victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, one of the most important days in the Soviet and Russian calendars.
Central Moscow streets have been partially closed in recent days as tanks and mobile rocket launchers rehearse for that parade next week.
These weren’t the ones we were waiting for.