Russian strongman Vladimir Putin spent Saturday opening a new Ferris wheel in Moscow.
Putin joined Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, via video conference, for the ceremony, Russian state media reported.
"It is a unique [construction], 140 meters high. There is nothing like that in Europe," Putin said. ""It is very important for people to have a chance to chill out with their family and friends."
Russian state media reported, "At an overall height of 140 meters, the VDNKh’s open revolving observation wheel is the tallest in Europe. Mounted on the wheel are 30 cabins, and one in six has a transparent floor. The air conditioning, lighting and heating systems as well as an emergency button and audio system are installed in the cabins. One complete rotation of the Moscow Sun takes about 18 minutes 40 seconds, with capacity of up to 450 passengers."
Meanwhile, Russia's grip on northeast Ukraine was collapsing as losing a key supply line.
Politico's Christopher Miller reported it is "absolutely stunning how quickly Ukrainian forces have retaken territory in the east and forced Russian troops to retreat — and they’re still on the move. Big victory for Kyiv and humiliating blow to Russia and Putin — but at least he opened that Ferris wheel in Moscow today."
BBC's Steve Rosenberg wrote, "On the day Russian forces retreated from occupied areas of Kharkiv region and Ukrainian forces reported major gains, back in Moscow Vladimir Putin was inaugurating a giant Ferris wheel and there was a fireworks display to celebrate city day. Surreal."
Associated Press White House correspondent Chris Megerian wrote, "I’m trying to imagine the political blowback for an American president opening a new amusement park ride while the U.S. military retreats."
Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations, explained how he saw the symbolism.
"Ferris wheel symbolizes the wheel of change and the idea you can’t get off. It’s traced to Middle Ages," he wrote. "One, as in Putin, is taken round until the ride ends [he dies] and is disgorged back into the spirit world, as in hell. Per Russian obsession with symbolism. Well done! Great timing!"