MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday showed up at a ceremony marking the national holiday — the first big public event he has attended since announcing a nationwide lockdown more than two months ago.
Putin observed the hoisting of the national flag at a memorial park in western Moscow and then took part in an award ceremony. He wasn’t wearing a mask, and neither did most of those whose hands he shook after presenting them with Hero of Russia medals.
Putin pointed to the nation’s “thousand-year history full of pages of great glory and pride, the unrivaled bravery of our ancestors and their love for their country.” In his speech, he particularly hailed medical workers, praising their courage and self-sacrifice.
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