4 nations to join Russia’s ‘Immortal Regiment’ initiative commemorating WWII victory

Participants of the Immortal Regiment march marking the legendary military parade of November 7, 1941 on Red Square, Moscow © Maksim Blinov
People in Switzerland, Australia, Malta and Qatar will take part in the 2016 ‘Immortal Regiment’ event, initiated by Russian activists who seek to immortalize those who fought and defeated Nazism in WWII.

This year the Immortal Regiment will march in 26 countries all over the world. Switzerland, Australia, Malta and Qatar have joined our movement,” the regiment coordinators’ press service told TASS.

The press service added that Victory Day – May 9 in Russia, VE Day or May 8 elsewhere - in these countries will be marked with parades and concerts, car rallies and movie screenings.

The Immortal Regiment event, in which participants march with portraits of their relatives who fought in WWII, originated in the Siberian city of Tomsk in 2012. The initiative spread quickly, and in 2013 similar events were held in 120 cities across Russia.

Participants of the march held by the Immortal Regiment Moscow regional patriotic public organization © Konstantin Chalabov

READ MORE: ‘Immortal Regiment’ marches on: World celebrates Victory Day (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

In 2014, Immortal Regiment parades took place in 500 cities in seven countries. Last year, about 12 million people across Russia and abroad joined parades held in memory of the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. President Vladimir Putin took part in the 2015 Immortal Regiment march carrying a portrait of his father, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin, who defended St. Petersburg (called Leningrad in Soviet times) from the Nazis during the war.

READ MORE: ‘My breathing mom was among corpses’: Putin recalls his parents’ WWII ordeal