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Coronavirus Jeopardizes Putin’s Extravagant Wartime Commemorations

Russian president must decide whether to cancel or postpone an event he has long used to burnish his image

Over the years, Mr. Putin has tried to harness the wave of patriotism connected to the Great Patriotic War, as World War II is commonly known in Russia, to bolster his position, analysts said.

Mr. Putin uses such events “to show that society and the authorities are together and united under common values,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of R.Politik, a political analysis firm, adding that postponing the event would be like pushing back a birthday.

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