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New Year’s fireworks, outdoor concerts canceled in Moscow

Moscow, against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, will celebrate the New Year without fireworks or large outdoor concerts. The city’s mayor, Sergey Sobyanin, made the decision based on the results of a survey of Muscovites.

According to a poll on Moscow’s electronic voting website, more than 50 percent of respondents said that Moscow should celebrate the New Year’s Eve by “decorating the city, but not holding mass concerts, and sending the proceeds from events to support participants in the special military operation.”

“We dedicate New Year’s Eve 2023 to our soldiers and people working tirelessly in the defense industry, building defensive structures, restoring ruined homes,” he wrote on his blog. “We consider it advisable to refrain from fireworks and large outdoor concerts this year. But at the same time, Moscow will greet the holidays with lights and decorations, as befits our beloved city.”

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On November 18, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center published the results of a survey on how to celebrate the upcoming New Year’s holiday “in the context of the special military operation.” Only 12 percent of respondents suggested forgoing decorations in cities. The rest suggested going ahead with decorations, but over 70 percent were in favor of authorities not buying new lights and decorations. Meduza and other independent media have written repeatedly about how the Center manipulates Russian public opinion.

In October, while mobilization was ongoing, authorities in several Russian regions announced they they were canceling New Year’s celebrations. The Ministry of Defense considered those decisions “premature and unnecessary.”

Russian state television channels promised “New Year’s emotions, regardless of changes in the country and the world.”

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