Senior US military officials have snubbed Russia’s annual celebration of Armed Forces Day held at the Russian Embassy in Washington.
Representatives from both the US military and NATO were invited to Thursday’s event as usual, but they did not show up this year, CNN reported Friday night.
“They had a room set aside with photos of all their newest military equipment — all kinds of their latest and greatest stuff,” one attendee told CNN. “But there were no US officials there to show it off to.”
A spokesman for the US Defense Department suggested that the snub was largely driven by “Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.”
“The US and Russian militaries have regular professional interactions on issues such as the safety of operations for deployed forces,” Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza said.
“However, following Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, the department has scaled back the overall number of professional engagements we have with the Russian armed forces,” he added.
Another thing that was notably missing at the annual event this year was the playing of the American national anthem.
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