Russian President Vladimir Putin was expected at Russia's largest manufacturer of heavy military equipment – Uralvagonzavod today. It was also planned to hold a government meeting as part of Putin’s visit. But the visit to the Sverdlovsk region was canceled at the last moment, reports Russian media.
A presidential motorcade of five Aurus sedans, two of which were expected to be used by Putin, were delivered earlier to Yekaterinburg, where the presidential airliner was expected to land. The motorcade rehearsed driving through the city, which caused traffic problems on the roads. Now, according to sources of the news website E1.ru, the cars are at Koltsovo airport and will be sent back to Moscow.
The authorities of Nizhny Tagil were preparing for this meeting for many days. The city streets were cleaned. The opening of the Christmas tree was canceled, flights over the city were banned, and a special traffic police battalion was brought to patrol the city roads.
On social networks, residents of Nizhny Tagil called the failed visit of the Russian "an excellent New Year’s gift ", noting that "the city has never lived so well as in these two days while awaiting Putin’s visit. The snow was removed, the city lights were turned on."
At the Uralvagonzavod plant, the employees were not allowed to move between workshops during Putin's visit. He was supposed to visit the secret workshop 130, where tanks are assembled. "Chekists (FSB officers) are managing the crowd, organizing the event. A helicopter pad is being prepared. Snow is removed, everything is washed and cleaned at the plant. They say that the employees of the tank shop will be told to take a leave, " reports the news outlet All News, citing a source at the plant.
Earlier, it became known that Putin canceled several traditional New Year's events. Among them are a Putin's Annual “Direct Line” Call-In with Russians, a large end of the year press conference, Putin’s annual Address to the Federal Assembly, an annual meeting with representatives of big business.
However, the Russian president found an opportunity to meet with the Belarusian dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, in Minsk, participate in the expanded board of the Russian Defense Ministry, speak to journalists, and threaten the world with a new nuclear toy.