Memorial events to honor victims of St. Petersburg blast held across Russia
In Moscow thousands of people have joined a rally held under the slogan “Petersburg, we are with you!” Many people are carrying flowers, which they are then laying at the World War II monument to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in the Alexander Garden, next to the Kremlin walls.
The Moscow rally was organized by a number of trade unions, including the Moscow Metro Workers Trade Union, the Transport Workers Trade Union, and the Moscow Trade Union Federation. Representatives of several political parties have also attended.
“The most important thing here is to express our solidarity to the … city of St. Petersburg, its residents and to pay tribute to the terrorist [attack] victims,” the head of the Moscow Trade Union Federation, Mikhail Antontsev, said at the rally.
The number of people to join the rally reached more than 50,000, Moscow police said on their website. The rally started with a minute of silence in honor of the blast victims.
Similar events are also being held in other Russian regions.
In St. Petersburg, people gathered near the scene of the terrorist attack, outside the Tekhnologichesky Institut metro station. The demonstrators also laid flowers at a memorial created at the entrance to the station.
“I mourn with the whole city. It is a big tragedy for all of us,” one participant told RT at the rally in St. Petersburg.
“We are here today … to support those who lost their loved ones, and also those who were injured in the terrorist attack,” two students who attended the rally told RT, adding that people “need to stay together and not desert each other over this disaster.”
Some 6,000 people joined the rally under the slogan “We will not be intimidated!” in the Siberian town of Kemerovo.
“We have gathered today to honor the memory of the victims of the terrorist attack that took place on April 3,” Kemerovo Mayor Ilya Seredyuk said as he opened the rally.
“We are deeply shocked by inhumanity and cruelty [of this attack], which are both senseless and heinous in nature,” he added, saying that the Russian people would overcome any difficulties together and calling on people to unite in the face of the tragedy.
Memorial events were also held in four other cities of the Kemerovo region.
In Kazan, the capital of Russia’s Tatarstan region, some 5,000 people joined a rally held under the slogan “Together against terror!” The organizers of the rally addressed the demonstrators and condemned all forms of radicalism and extremism, and spoke of the need for mutual understanding and friendship between different peoples.
In the city of Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East, some 2,000 people took part in a memorial event held under the slogan “Petersburg, we are with you!,” which was organized by the regional World War II veterans’ association.
Solidarity rallies and memorial events were also held in many cities across Russia, including Kaliningrad, Vladimir, Voronezh, Tula and Irkutsk.
On Monday, April 3, a suicide bomb attack claimed the lives of 14 people, mostly students, and injured dozens more in the St. Petersburg Metro.