Record million people take part in Immortal Regiment march in Moscow to mark V-Day (VIDEO)
More than a million people have joined the Immortal Regiment march to commemorate WWII heroes, setting a new record. Russian President Vladimir Putin also took part in the event.
Huge crowds are moving through the center of the Russian capital, carrying pictures of their relatives who experienced the horrors of the Great Patriotic War (as WWII is called in Russia). The Immortal Regiment march is part of Victory Day celebrations, which this year marks the 73rd anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany.
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As the event gained momentum, aerial footage showed a seemingly endless procession stretching for miles down Tverskaya Street to a packed Red Square. “More than 1 million of the Russian citizens have taken part in the ‘Immortal Regiment’ march by 6 p.m. (local time) (15:00 GMT),” Russian Interior Ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk told RIA Novosti, adding that the march was still going on. In total, some 10 million people took part in the 'Immortal Regiment' marches across Russia, RIA news agency reports.
Putin joined the Immortal Regiment for the forth year in a row. The Russian President, accompanied by other world leaders including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, joined the crowds on Moscow’s Red Square. Putin carried a portrait of his father, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin, who fought in WWII.
RT’s correspondents covering the Victory Day celebrations also joined in. Daniel Hawkins is reporting from Tverskaya street, one of Moscow’s main traffic arteries where the march kicked off. RT’s Ilya Pertrenko was in the thick of the event, predicting that this year can break another attendance record.
Last year, despite freezing temperatures on May 9, Moscow saw over 800,000 participants. That was the previous record for the event. This year, up to one million people are expected to show up for the march, as the weather is significantly better, the head of a regional patriotic organization, Bessmertniy Polk (Immortal Regiment), Elena Kalgina, told TASS.
Beginning as a local event in the Siberian city of Tyumen in 2007, the march spread across Russian and beyond, attracting huge crowds in the US, France, Germany, China, and other countries. Some countries hold the event before May 9, including American cities which saw thousands of participants on Saturday. In Paris, the march took place on Tuesday, attracting hundreds of people.
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