Russia canceled its premiere international air show because it was afraid nobody would show up, UK intel says

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Russia canceled its premiere international air show because it was afraid nobody would show up, UK intel says
Russian Air Force Sukhoi fighter jets and bombers fly over St. Basil's Cathedral during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow.AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin
  • Russia has canceled its premiere international air show out of fears nobody would come.
  • International export companies and investors typically attend the aviation showcase.
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International isolation, safety concerns, sanctions, and general chaos in its aerospace unit have prompted Russia to cancel its premiere air show, known as MAKS, according to UK intel.

"Scheduled every other year, MAKS takes place near Moscow and showcases Russia's civil and military aerospace sectors and has become key to securing export customers," the UK Ministry of Defense said.

It would've been the first air show since the war began, and intel suggested Russia canceled it for two main reasons: "Reputational damage if fewer international delegations attended" and "security concerns" over recent drone attacks in Moscow.

Russia's aerospace industry has been hit hard since the country's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. It is struggling under sweeping international sanctions and Gen. Sergei Surovikin, the commander of Russia's aerospace forces, is now missing from public view.

Surovikin had been serving as a liaison between Russia's defense ministry and Yevgeny Prigozhin, who leads the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary organization that rebelled last month, marching within hours of Moscow before pulling back.

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Surovikin hasn't been seen since the rebellion and may be under arrest for his connection to Prigozhin.

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