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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Luzhkov Fights Clouds on Victory Day

ReutersFighter jets forming a “65” over Red Square during rehearsals Tuesday.

City Hall will spend 44 million rubles ($1.5 million) to disperse clouds above Moscow ahead of Victory Day, using 11 military jets to sprinkle dry ice and chemicals in the air, a senior weather official said Tuesday.

The federal weather bureau forecasts partly cloudy skies but no rain and day temperatures of about 25 degrees Celsius for Sunday's holiday, which will commemorate the 65th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. But CNN is predicting showers.

The jets will spread 30 tons of dry ice and 1,600 tons of liquid nitrogen and fire 3,000 cartridges of silver iodide above the city in an attempt to prevent rain, Viktor Korneyev, head of the Agency of Atmospheric Technologies with the Federal Agency for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, told The Moscow Times.

But the operation is not a guaranteed success.

"If we manage it, good. If we don't make it, we don't make it," Korneyev said by phone.

Mayor Yury Luzhkov is known for his fondness of trying to play God by using planes to spray clouds with chemical particles to force rain to fall before it can reach the capital and spoil holidays.

Last fall, Luzhkov suggested that snow clouds could be dispersed the same way rain clouds are. But heavy snowfall blanketed the city during the winter months, disrupting traffic for days.

When asked in an interview in February, a City Hall spokesman could not say what had become of Luzhkov's proposal to prevent snow.