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ON A ROLL

Moscow just held a parade of garbage trucks and city buses

Steve Mollman
By Steve Mollman

Weekend editor

Russia routinely holds military parades in Moscow showcasing its formidable hardware, with tanks, missile launchers, and armored personnel carriers rolling past high-ranking officials and foreign VIPs in attendance.

But the Russian capital also enjoys showing off other types of heavy transport. This weekend, the city held a parade for municipal service vehicles, including ones involved in street cleaning, garbage removal, and public transport.

The annual parade, which began a few years ago, involves more than 600 such vehicles, according to the mayor’s office.

Not everyone sees the point of the sparsely attended event, which has been the target of some online ridicule.

The event’s mundane nature contrasted starkly with recent events. Moscow witnessed large pro-democracy protests this summer ahead of Sept. 8 City Duma election, leading to the arrests of thousands of demonstrators. Some of the largest took place on the city’s sprawling Sakharov Prospekt, where the service vehicles also rolled past this weekend.

Government officials, no doubt, welcomed the distraction.

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