Brussels 07.10.2022 Traditional Christmas and New Year celebrations in Saint Petersburg will be cancelled and all previously allocated funds for the festivities will be channelled to finance volunteers and mobilised troops of the “special military operation” (SMO) in Ukraine, the municipal authorities said in a statement on Friday, October 7. (Image: Saint-Petersburg, Russia)
“During a session with Governor Alexander Beglov with members of the municipal administration it was decided to cancel previously scheduled events dedicated to New Year festivities,” the statement reads.
“All available funds will be channelled into a special Saint Petersburg stipulating extra outfit and gear for volunteers and mobilised citizens,” Beglov said.
It was previously noted that all mobilised people in Saint Petersburg would be paid a bonus of 100,000 rubles (over $1,600), while volunteers would get 300,000 rubles in bonuses (over $4,800).
Mayor of the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod Yury Shalabayev also stated that previously scheduled New Year and Christmas celebrations, including music concerts and festivities, would be cancelled and all previously allocated financial means would be channelled to aid the families of mobilised Russian nationals.
“I have received numerous questions via social websites from our citizens about planned mass festivities, concerts and fireworks to mark the New Year. My response is no, although we planned them initially,” he said.
“However, we will still carry on with New Year celebrations for children and festive events in schools and kindergartens,” the mayor of Nizhny Novgorod added.
On September 21, President Vladimir Putin declared a partial mobilisation in Russia. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu clarified that 300,000 reservists would be called up, who would undergo training before being sent to the special military operation zone.
The partial mobilization will not involve students and conscripts. Only citizens who have prior combat experience and military specializations needed for the operation will be mobilized. The defense chief emphasized that the call-up is being carried out first and foremost to support the territories liberated during the special military operation.