"Immortal Regiment" marches held across the world
The "Immortal Regiment" marches honoring Victory Day will be held across the world. The Immortal Regiment is a patriotic initiative that commemorates WWII soldiers in marches held across Russia and other countries on May 9, celebrated as Victory Day in Russia and the former Soviet republics. During the marches, people carry photographs of their ancestors who participated in the war.
At least 20 US cities will host the marches ahead of the Victory Day celebrations, most of which will take place on Saturday, compared to nine cities in 2016. The 'Immortal Regiment' marches will be held in Washington, New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, among other locations, Sputnik writes.
The march in Washington on May 6 will proceed from the White House to the World War II Memorial accompanied by the wartime songs sung by the participants to the music played by a bayan player. In New York, the participants will walk along the Hudson River to World War II Memorial in Battery Park. The march will be joined by members of the Yale University choir, who will perform war songs.
The march will take place in over 20 cities in Israel, the event's coordinator in Israel told Sputnik on Thursday. "I have coordinators of the 'Immortal Regiment' demonstration working in 19 cities. And I know for sure that two more cities are organizing it now on their own. The dates and the shapes of the events vary, it’s both demonstrations and marches," Natan Grinberg said.
"This year, there is a very positive aspect: the municipal councils that are responsible for holding events began to cooperate with my local coordinators. It is working out great," Grinberg noted.
Almost half a dozen Czech cities will host "Immortal Regiment" marches on May 8, one of the event organizers told Sputnik on Thursday. "In Prague, the 'Immortal Regiment' march will take place for the second time in a row. Last year, over 1,000 people took part, which was more than the 500 we said would come. The march will again start at the Loreta Square, where the Czech Foreign Ministry stands, and end at the Hradek Square next to the Prague Castle, the residence of President Milos Zeman," Olga Kondrashina said.
Hradek Square will then host a concert featuring children's choirs from both the Czech Republic and Russia. Brno, Ostrava, Karlovy Vary and Teplice will also host "Immortal Regiment" events, according to Kondrashina.
The "Immortal Regiment" commemoration march will be held in central Stockholm on Sunday, one of the event’s organizers and head of the Union of Russian communities in Sweden Lyudmila Sigel told Sputnik. "The event will take place on May 7 as the next days are not day-off in Sweden," she said.
Sigel said that the march would be organized with the support of the Russian Embassy in Sweden, the Coordinating Council of Swedish compatriots, the Sergius parish of the of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Swedish-Russian Friendship Association.
The "Immortal Regiment" commemoration march, which is expected to be held in Belgrade for the second time in the Serbian history on Tuesday, could gather up to 3,000 people, Sergei Glushchenko, one of the event’s organizers, told Sputnik.
"This year we have been pleasantly surprised that new and new structures, including the city administration of Belgrade, have joined the organizers of the march… We expect that the number of participants would increase from 1,200 people in 2016 up to 3,000 this year," Glushchenko said. He added that up to 150 people from other Serbian cities, such as Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Nis would participate in the rally.
Austrian organizers of the "Immortal Regiment" marches commemorating those who fell in World War II, expanded the area hosting the event this year, so as to take place not only near the Soviet War Memorial in Vienna, but also at the military cemetery in Innsbruck, Sofia Parfenova, the coordinator of the event in Vienna, told Sputnik.
According to Parfenova, May 9 is a weekday in Austria, that is why, the march will start at 5:00 p.m. local time (15:00 GMT) in order to allow people to take part in it after work. In Innsbruck, the march will take place at the Amras cemetery, where burials and memorials to Soviet soldiers are located. The event will start at 3:00 p.m. local time (13:00 GMT).
According to Parfenova, people from Germany, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia and Bulgaria will join the march this year in Vienna.