Celebrations of and New Year are being cancelled in border regions and invaded territories due to ’s war.
Three regions – including occupied Crimea, which in international law is part of Ukraine – have annulled festivities involving large crowds or fireworks.
By tradition from Soviet times, Russians exchange presents at midnight on December 31, then mark Christmas Day under the Orthodox calendar on January 7, as was the case in tsarist times.
Russian Santa – known as Grandfather Frost – appears on New Year’s Eve, but this year amid security fears, festivities are set to be curtailed in regions bordering Ukraine.
Putin-appointed hardline occupation ruler of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, warned residents: “There are no plans to hold large public events in the republic of Crimea for the New Year and Christmas.”
He added: “The main priority is safety. But, of course, we will do everything necessary to create a festive mood for Crimeans.
“New Year holidays for children will be held in a limited format.
“Christmas trees will be installed and the streets will be decorated in public areas.”
He warned of the threat of “terrorist” strikes yet the threat comes from Ukraine which is merely seeking the return of its territory invaded by Putin.
On the Russian mainland, border region Kursk has banned fireworks – until the end of January, announced Putin loyalist governor Roman Starovoit.
Another border region, Belgorod, has also banned fireworks, imposing curbs on marking the festive season.
The curbs are the direct result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Crimea, Kursk and Belgorod have all been hit with incursions by the Ukrainian army – as well as missile and kamikaze drone attacks.
Other regions are expected to follow by cancelling Christmas and New Year festivities.