Russian cities ‘cancel New Year’s celebrations to fund army’

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Several Russian cities have cancelled their New Year’s Eve celebrations so they can divert the funds to frontline soldiers and their families, according to reports.

Dmitry Denisov, mayor of Kaluga, said that he had cancelled celebrations to ensure Russian soldiers are “adequately equipped”.

“We will direct all these freed-up funds to supporting the mobilised Kaluga residents,” he said on social media.

“Our men must be adequately equipped, better than the standard provision demands.”

Similar measures have also been adopted in Siberia’s Tomsk region, Saint Petersburg, Yakutia, Yaroslavl and Nizhny Novgorod.

“Children cannot be left without holidays and gifts, but for officials there should be no New Year corporate parties,” said Tomsk governor Vladimir Mazur.

The Russian measures come after a wildly unpopular draft, massive military casualties and series of humiliating setbacks on the battlefield.

Suspected Ukrainian shelling has also killed a number of people in Russian border towns, according to pro-Kremlin officials.

Meanwhile, the number of Russians in favour of continuing the war in Ukraine has fallen dramatically, with just one in four now supporting the conflict, according to leaked Kremlin opinion polls.

According to data from the Federal Protective Service, included in the Ministry of Defence’s latest update, just 25 per cent of the public support the war. In April, 80 per cent supported the invasion.

The results of the polls, which were carried out by the Kremlin’s Federal Guard Service, were obtained by Meduza, a Russian opposition website.

The presidential administration regularly carries out research into public opinion for the exclusive use of President Putin and other senior officials.