Several regions of Russia have abandoned New Year’s celebrations to transfer funds allocated for decorations and fireworks to fund the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Radio Liberty reported.
The local authorities of Novorossiysk, Sochi, Nalchik, Vladikavkaz, and other major Russian cities have decided to allocate funds to support the Russian army and its military actions against Ukraine.
Russian officials claimed the savings would be used to purchase military equipment for the Russian troops participating in the invasion of Ukraine.
“This will be the best gift for our countrymen on the front line of the special military operation and their families,” Sochi Mayor Alexei Kopaygorodsky said.
The streets of the cities that decided to transfer funds to support the Russian army will be decorated with old toys and illumination instead.
In 2024, the Russian defense spending would rise to 10.8 trillion rubles ($112 billion) from 6.4 trillion rubles in 2023. The planned defense budget would triple the 3.6 trillion rubles allocated in 2021. This is without a massive amount of classified expenditures, of which a large part would likely also go to the military and internal security forces.